Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Minutes of meeting on 11th March

Wednesday 11th March 2009

Meeting held at : Martineau, No 1 Colmore Square Birmingham


Jon Beaumont, Louise Bowler, Adele Champken, Caroline Covington, Helen Dunn, Diane Harris, Sally Hassell, Hazel Hewison, Jasmin Hollingum, Susanne Homer, Lee Houghton, David Houston, Mandy Hulme, Keri Husband (No 5 Chambers), Caroline Janukowicz, Sue Kendall, Christine Lambert, Caroline Mosley, Beverley Preece, Jackie Sellars, Natasha Skeen, Phil Uttley, Denise Watkins, Tricia Wyspianska and Louise Young

The Chair welcomed Gavin Cummy, Kathryn Johnson and Lucy Cudd from LexisNexis

Normal business

1. Apologies

Hilary Boucher, Margaret Brittin, Matthew Cadden, Joanne Dunn, Erica Foster, James Furnival, Aileen Johnston, Christine Newlove, Alison Parker, Pat Pritchard, Rachel Relves, Mike Troon, Barry Vickery, Stephen Wheeler and Carol Wilson

2. ALLICE Bursary for the BIALL conference

This bursary covers the cost of conference fees for one ALLICE member to attend the BIALL conference in Manchester from 18th to 20th June. No applications have yet been received and the deadline for these is 4th April 2008. A bursary application form is available from Phil Uttley or on the ALLICE blog

3. Union List

Bev Preece has again offered to co-ordinate the publication of the ALLICE Union List this year. This list holds details of the journal and law report holdings of those firms that contribute. Copies of the list are sent to contributors. Bev will be contacting members separately to ask for contributions

4. Future events

There is a social evening at Chez Jules on Tuesday evening 24th March. Deal on offer that night is 3 course meal and half-bottle of wine for £15. Please let Phil Uttley know by 17th March if you would like to join the party

5. Next meeting

The next meeting will take place at 12.30 pm on Wednesday 3rd June at the offices of Clarke Willmott on Edmund Street. It will be a networking meeting to discuss plans to run and fund training events in the future.

6. AOB

Alison Parker has taken over as Chair of ASLIB Midlands from Margaret Brittin and she is looking for any new ideas or opportunities for training events - either to run in-conjunction with ALLICE or another third party. She is also looking for new committee members so, if anyone is interested in getting involved, please contact her either on 01384342100 or by e-mail

Sue Kendall informed the meeting of an upcoming BIALL course in Birmingham. It is called "Managing Training Challenges" and is scheduled for 9th July at Mills & Reeve. It will be a variation on the theme of "training the trainer" with case studies from law firms and advice on devising library/online training for fee-earners.

7. LexisNexis

The slides from the presentation given by Gavin, Kathryn and Lucy are attached to the same email as these minutes. The following questions were tabled :

1. Can you demonstrate your new PSL product, or talk about it with examples?

Gavin had covered this new product in his presentation but asked people to contact him or their account manager if they required more information or a trial.

2. What impact has the present economic climate had on your current round of negotiations for subscriptions?

Again, this had been covered in general discussion but they were talking to individual clients in an attempt to help them realise overall savings in their information service budget.

3. Have you had any significant cancellations this year?

No, except where companies had gone out of business altogether or there had been mergers between clients

4. We are looking at cancelling a number of print journal and law report subs next academic year, 2009/10, since they are duplicated in full text on Lexis. This will make us vulnerable by relying on the electronic source and my question is whether it is procedure for updates to be sent by Lexis when titles are dropped? Do they have lists of what has been dropped, say over the last 5 years? If we cancel print, we need to know there is a reliable archive. Can we have a regular update on this area? More communication?

It transpired that the real need here was for more timely communication when online content was removed. Gavin explained that their most vulnerable content was that supplied by third parties. The LexisNexis content acquisition team were constantly negotiating agreements to ensure retention of new and archived content but, on occasions, it became impossible to maintain the content in a viable way. Currently information about content changes was communicated via the e-burst newsletter but he agreed that more could be done.

5. What is LexisNexis pricing policy or pricing strategy - when the cost of a looseleaf or database is reviewed, how it is reviewed.

It depends upon the publication but all are constantly reviewed based on cost, update frequency, etc.

6. What are their plans for the future in terms of paper and electronic. Many are stopping paper subscriptions. Will they assess titles based on subscriptions and will some titles be stopped altogether. Probably the question is how are Lexis dealing with the downturn in regard to unprofitable titles.

Currently, contribution from their paper based content represents 60% of their total revenue so this has a sound future

7. How can they possibly take on PLC? What would make the user switch to their Know How product? Are they selling them based on content, price or what?

This was discussed after the presentation but Gavin believed they are marketing LexisPSL on both content and price grounds

8. What is their view on CD-Rom products? Do they see them as worthwhile continuing or are they planning to phase them out?

There are no plans to phase out CD titles as subscriptions to these remain fairly static

Action Point : Finally, Gavin took away an action point to check plans for the frequency of updates to Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law and let Bev Preece know