In November 2016, Scott Mozarsky was appointed the president of Bloomberg BNA’s Legal Division. Replacing David Perla at the helm, Mozarsky has experience on both sides of the table – in-house and outside counsel – and brings with him unique and comprehensive legal experience from which to continue the growth of Bloomberg’s terminal-type research model.
In our Q&A below, Mozarsky broaches the impact that technology, bigdata, and analytics are having on outside counsel retention, the business of law, the legal research industry, and more. Please see a revised and edited version of our exchange below:
Parnell: My understanding is that Bloomberg L.P. entered the legal market with a vision of disrupting the legal market as it did the financial market with the Terminal. How does a “Terminal-type model” advance the legal industry?
Mozarsky: The various platforms and other vendors who have serviced the legal industry have historically been siloed. Throughout the day, attorneys and others in the ecosystem had to use multiple platforms to engage with the data and content that they need to do their jobs well. A Terminal-type model involves integrating deep and broad legal, financial and business content, data, news, resources, tools and analytics into one workflow platform that attorneys and others use throughout the day whether they are focusing on research, business development or competitive intelligence. Ultimately this enables firms to better collaborate with and serve their clients. Additionally, the Terminal model, in which subscribers pay one annual price, enables firms to leverage technology as frequently as they wish and to capitalize on added functionality and data sets without fear of costs spiraling out of control.
On Technology Impacting The Legal Research Industry
Parnell: The multi-billion-dollar legal research industry was for many years effectively a duopoly. How are technology, analytics, and big data disrupting this market? Is there an inflection point?
Mozarsky: Similar to the news distribution industry that I worked in prior to coming over to Bloomberg, which for decades was dominated by PR Newswire and Business Wire, the legal research and technology industry was dominated for a number of years by two companies. That is no longer the case. Similar to the pattern that the news distribution industry experienced, the combination of disruption driven by technology and globalization with clients demanding more innovative solutions, has provided an opportunity for competitors, such as our Bloomberg Law platform, to build rapidly growing businesses that enable clients to change the way that they practice, seize opportunities and respond to challenges. Disruption driven by technology, globalization, new compliance demands and shrinking in-house counsel budgets is reshaping the industry. Research is becoming more commoditized. Content and data are still incredibly important, but the real value to clients is in the technology, tools, and analytics that enable them to draw actionable insights from this content and data. Clients see value in Bloomberg Law and some of the newer niche platforms that have come to market, but it is neither practical nor cost efficient for attorneys to work on multiple platforms throughout the day. This will ultimately drive acquisition activity but that will only really benefit the clients if the platforms are integrated, which historically has not happened.
On Information That The Market Is Interested In
Parnell: What types of information, specifically, do you see an interest in from the market?
Mozarsky: There is always going to be a need for primary and secondary sources related to the practice of law. So, case law, statutes, treatises, resources and news continue to be valuable. The shift in client demand is towards integrating legal, financial and business data and applying analytics against them in order to better serve clients, develop more business in a commoditized legal services market, or choose outside counsel more wisely. Aggregating and curating news, financial data and competitive information about clients and prospects into dashboards that provide a holistic view are invaluable as are real-time updates through dockets and news feeds that monitor in real time when legal actions are brought against companies or when there are material business developments.
As the legal services industry has become more commoditized – there are a lot of good lawyers out there – firms are differentiating themselves by becoming more consultative and strategic. In order to do so, they need to be able to truly understand their clients’ businesses and markets, so deeper research and analytics is something that firms are demanding.
On The Future Of Competitive Information
Parnell: In a market where information is becoming more and more ubiquitous, and in many cases free, what is the future/trajectory of the market for competitive information arbitrage? Is there a shift more toward proprietary analytics rather than aggregation, for instance?
Mozarsky: There is absolutely a shift towards proprietary content and analytics. Aggregation and curation can be useful but as information is more readily accessible and dashboards and targeted newsletters are that much easier to launch, the real differentiator is unique content and data and, of course, the tools that allow clients to drive insights and analytics from that content and data.
For the business of law, this includes original data coming out of research and surveys regarding issues that range from buying trends and procurement and pricing to attorney representation analytics and company information that enable firms and their clients to better determine which firms are representing which clients and where firms are differentiated by expertise. For the practice of law, there are so many regulatory developments as a result of the new administration that news and timely insights and research are particularly valuable for firms to keep their clients up to speed. Data visualization and proprietary analytics are increasingly valuable in helping firms present more compelling and understandable data to clients.
Read full article on Forbes Business here…