April 1, 2012
TR Legal to launch editors for hire service as part of its new legal publishing industry total solution service
Reportedly the idea started out as a discussion about what to do with in-house editors once TR Legal sold off its legal education publishing business but grew into something far more comprehensive when the Company finally realized that consumers weren't buy its books. Code named "WeKeyCite," "trusted legal editors from Thomson Reuters" will be available soon on a contract basis to all legal publishers. Unlike other outsourcing services, TR Legal will directly supervise contracted editors to provide "content perfect" copy for legal publishers interested in reducing their "human capital overhead."
Due to current production under-utilization TR Legal is offering a total publishing solutions package that includes printing and shipping works for the contracting publishers under their own brands in p and e-book formats. However, according to one industry insider, production and distribution is based on an assured pricing plan that allows TR Legal to opt out unilaterally in the event that TR Legal requires internal capacity due to increased sales for its own p- and/or e-Books.
TR Legal management has vetoed offering to price the texts for contracting publishers out of fear that such a service would be the smoking gun for price fixing charges. Management also vetoed the idea of offering billing and collection services because the Company's in-house and off-shore staff is too busy trying to collect, if not correct, its own opt-out only transactions. Some industry observers speculate that the entire scheme is just a ruse for acquiring other legal publishers own customer distribution lists.
Wait 'n see. I'm thinking you will be able to tell if a legal publisher takes advanage of TR Legal's new legal publishing "solution" offer if you see a dilution of editoral quality within a year or two. I'm already wondering if TR Legal will charge back online search charges generated by its contract-for-hire editorial work. If that's the case, then at the very least, legal publishers should require TR Legal editors to use Shepard's by way of an addendum to TR Legal's boilerplate contract. [JH]