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FindLaw: Press: Press Releases: West Group Acquires FindLaw


EAGAN, MINN. (January 26, 2001) -- West Group today announced theacquisition of FindLaw, the pioneer in free online legal information andservices and the Web's most highly trafficked legal portal. The acquisitiongives West Group, the leading provider of e-information and solutions to thelegal marketplace, an expanded presence on the Web for serving legalprofessionals and their clients, and provides FindLaw with the resources forcontinuing the development and expansion of its acclaimed content andservices. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition gives FindLaw, which will operate as an independentsubsidiary, new resources and reach to even better serve legal professionals,businesses and individuals in North America and around the world. "From thetime we founded FindLaw, we had a vision," said Stacy Stern, founder,president and co-chair of the board of directors for FindLaw. "After fiveyears, we were making that vision a reality, but had reached the point wherewe wanted to take a quantum leap. As we explored how to make this happen, wefound out that West Group shared our vision of what FindLaw really could be.Now, we look forward to working with West Group to continue to deliver on thatvision and to make FindLaw an even more powerful tool."

Mike Wilens, West Group president, said FindLaw will operate as anindependent subsidiary of West Group and will maintain its operations inMountain View, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley. FindLaw co-foundersStern and Tim Stanley will remain in their roles, as will other keytechnology, marketing and publishing managers.

"Our plan is simple: we're going to build on the formula that madeFindLaw what it is," said Wilens. "Everything that exists on FindLaw today-- from caselaw to career services and Continuing Legal Education will remain.And we'll invest in the content and services to make the site even morepowerful in the future," he noted.

A powerful Web presence The FindLaw/West Group combination will result in the legal industry'smost powerful collection of community, content, solutions and services. Thiswill give West Group a powerful new channel for connecting to the legalcommunity and to the individuals and businesses who need legal information orcounsel, according to Wilens.

"The FindLaw acquisition plays an important role in West Group's Webstrategy," said Wilens. "We'll leverage FindLaw traffic to deliver moreenhanced West Group information and solutions to our customers. FindLaw alsoadds a powerful new dimension to our West Legal Directory service --dramatically expanding its reach and value and giving West Legal Directory ahigh-traffic Web presence unmatched by any other legal directory service inthe world."

Other services and solutions that will be developed or expanded include anonline, on-demand continuing legal education service. Additionally, Wilenssaid FindLaw's popular legal news service and legal jobs center can now takeadvantage of West Group editorial and technology resources to provide evengreater value to FindLaw users.

Wilens said the acquisition is a key step in the company's drive to createthe most comprehensive Web presence for legal professionals, businesses andindividuals. "This is really about the convergence of community, content,technology tools, commerce and services," he said. "FindLaw is a unique andsuccessful site. Together, we plan to make it even better." FindLaw Inc. ( the pioneer and leader in online legalinformation and services, is the highest-trafficked legal Web site, providingthe most comprehensive set of legal resources on the Internet for lawyers,businesses and individuals. These resources include legal search tools, caselaw (including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1893), legal news,real-time SEC filings, community discussion areas and online continuing legaleducation. FindLaw is home to the most complete online legal career center,with law firm salary charts, legal job listings, personalized legal jobplacement services and the "Greedy Associates" message boards. FindLaw'schannels for businesses and the public provide comprehensive, plain-Englishlegal information for non-lawyers.

About West Group Headquartered in Eagan, Minn., West Group is the foremost provider ofe-information and solutions to the U.S. legal market. West Group is adivision of The Thomson Corporation (TSE: TOC) and was formed when WestPublishing and Thomson Legal Publishing merged in June 1996. For moreinformation, please visit West Group's Web site at