August 26, 2003 2:50 PM PDT

LexisNexis hires Fast search

LexisNexis signed on Norway-based Fast Search & Transfer to power search for its new legal enterprise tool, a deal that highlights the importance of navigating internal and external documents concurrently.

LexisNexis runs a proprietary search technology that allows customers to find documents within its massive repository of legal and business data online. Total Search, its new service unveiled in July, is designed to combine the company's archive of legal documents with internal knowledge databases of legal clients so that research can be performed seamlessly. Under the agreement, Fast enterprise search technology will be the core of Total Search.

"Law firms have been trying to unlock the power of their intellectual property," said Jim Longo, vice president of product management for LexisNexis. With this, "corporate users can research that material while performing online research concurrently." He added that, while LexisNexis' search technology is meant to handle enormous amounts of data, unlike Fast's software, it is not designed to be distributed to the enterprise market.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal gives LexisNexis a greater footprint in the legal enterprise market. The company's largest competitor is Factiva, which recently signed a deal to provide its data repository on Microsoft's Office 2003.

The deal also underscores Fast's growing presence in Web publishing. Fast, which sold its Web search technology to Overture Services earlier this year, powers corporate search for Reuters News Service and other units of LexisNexis' parent company, publishing giant Reed Elsevier Group. It also powers search for Cigna, Dell,, Freeserve, IBM, the National Library of Norway and T-Online.

Total Search is a Web browser application that lets researchers locate existing pleadings, depositions, memos and other motions taht are written by internal experts while also searching legal data from LexisNexis. Pricing for Total Search has not yet been released.


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