vLex and Fastcase, two of the largest, fastest-growing legal technology companies, announced today that they are merging to form the world’s largest law firm subscriber base with more than one billion legal documents from more than 100 countries. As part of the merger, Oakley Capital and Bain Capital Credit are investing in the combined business to expand its global reach and accelerate the company’s legal artificial intelligence (AI) lab, which develops AI tools that streamline research, tracking, writing, and filing documents for the legal industry.
“The legal profession has been a late adopter of technology, but lawyers are gaining more of an appetite for artificial intelligence tools in recent years,” said vLex CEO Lluís Faus. “Bringing these two highly successful businesses together will help democratize the law for legal professionals worldwide through a dynamic and robust platform that improves legal research accuracy, efficiency, and affordability.”
The new combined entity will be called vLex Group, and its products will retain the name of vLex in global markets and Fastcase in the U.S. The company, which has offices in the United States, Europe, the U.K., Asia, and Latin America, will combine management teams and invest in unified global products based on the complementary strengths of both firms. It will maintain headquarters offices in Washington, D.C., Miami, and Barcelona. JEGI CLARITY (www.jegiclarity.com), a leading M&A advisory firm for the legal, media, marketing, information and technology industries, represented Fastcase in this transaction.
Each company has been a disruptive innovator in highly consolidated markets for legal information and will offer unprecedented scale in legal tech, including the following:
The new company will reach the majority of lawyers in the U.S. (~1.1 million subscribers out of 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S.) in partnership with state bar associations, and include legal materials from more than 100 countries around the world.
The combined library contains over one billion legal documents, including judicial opinions, statutes, regulations, court rules, docket sheets, briefs, pleadings, motions, authored treatises, and legal news articles.
vLex’s AI tools for law were named “Overall Legal Research Solution Provider of the Year” in the 2022 LegalTech Breakthrough Awards Program.
Fastcase has twice been named New Product of the Year by the American Association of Law Libraries.
“Our missions could not be more aligned, and by combining two of the world’s most successful legal technology disruptors, we are bringing much-needed innovation to an industry ready for a scaled alternative,” said Fastcase President Phil Rosenthal. “With both companies having more than 20 years of organic growth, the strategic support and financial backing of Oakley Capital and Bain Capital Credit will dramatically accelerate our work. Our goal is to be the most frequently used, comprehensive, and trustworthy resource for law firms of all sizes, in any part of the world.”
Large Language Models (LLM) and Law
News of the merger comes when competing large language models, such as OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google’s Bard, create a more competitive market for generative AI.
“With the rapid proliferation of LLM models, we are in a new era where content is king,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. “With the merger of vLex and Fastcase, nobody has a more extensive global law library than we do. This is the biggest legal data corpus ever assembled, including highly valuable structured data with industry-standard tags and analytics. The combined library is the crown jewel of LLMs and the ultimate training data set for legal AI.”
The companies are not newcomers to legal AI. vLex created one of the first AI assistants for legal research, called Vincent. It has long used an internal AI tool called Iceberg to generate structure in its own data and for law firms. Fastcase’s Docket Alarm product is one of the first legal tech companies to integrate OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, and both Fastcase and Docket Alarm use AI to create structure and tags in legal documents. The companies will use their combined financial strength to accelerate growth and to invest more in the frontiers of artificial intelligence in law.
vLex is a global legal intelligence platform that provides legal professionals with access to the most extensive collection of legal and regulatory information worldwide, all on one award-winning and unique platform. The company utilizes cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence and data analytics, to help millions of users access the most relevant and accurate information. For more information about vLex, visit @vLex on Twitter or at www.vlex.com.
Fastcase is a comprehensive legal intelligence company founded in 1999 and based in Washington, D.C. Partnering with the bar associations of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Fastcase serves more than 1.1 million lawyers worldwide. The company provides an innovative research suite of primary law, dockets, treatises, legal blogs, analytics, workflow tools, and legal news. For more information about Fastcase’s legal tools, visit the company on Twitter at @Fastcase or visit www.fastcase.com.
About Oakley Capital
Oakley Capital is the partner of choice for entrepreneurs and management teams with the ambition to build successful, global businesses. With a diverse team of over 140 professionals across five locations including London, Munich and Milan, the firm backs high-growth, mid-market companies across Europe. It has deep sector-expertise across Technology, Consumer and Education and a track-record of supporting businesses accelerating their growth with proven value creation strategies, including M&A, digitization, talent management and internationalization. Its unique origination capabilities help unearth attractive investment opportunities yielding consistently strong returns for all stakeholders. To date, the firm has delivered gross realized returns of 4x MM and 67% IRR across all funds. In 2023, Oakley raised a record €2.85 billion for Oakley Capital Fund V, bringing their total AUM to €8 billion.
About Bain Capital Credit
Bain Capital Credit is a leading global credit specialist with approximately $42 billion in assets under management. Bain Capital Credit invests across the credit spectrum and in credit‐related strategies, including leveraged loans, high‐yield bonds, structured products, private middle market loans, bespoke capital solutions, distressed securities and assets, non‐performing loans, hard assets and equities. Our team of more than 95 investment professionals creates value through rigorous, independent analysis of thousands of corporate issuers around the world. In addition to credit, Bain Capital Credit invests across asset classes including private equity, public equity, venture capital and real estate, and leverages the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus. Bain Capital Credit's dedicated Private Credit Group focuses on providing complete financing solutions to businesses with EBITDA between $10 million and $150 million located in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our dedicated global team affords us the ability to diligence the most complex situations and provide private capital to those companies.