Durham County Council are responsible for the needs of the nearly 520,000 residents of County Durham. Every single day, their Legal Services teams deal with matters of life and death — whether it’s protecting the vulnerable or safeguarding children. If they get something wrong, the consequences can be life changing. As there is simply no room for error, it’s essential that they know the law and apply it correctly the first time.

At the same time, they have a responsibility to the public purse. They need to get the maximum value for their budget and ‘do more with less’. With their previous legal resources provider’s contract up for review, they decided to take a trial of Lexis®PSL, Lexis®Library and Lexis Smart Forms and Precedents. They wanted to reduce their spend without compromising on content.

Prudent procurement

As part of their rigorous procurement process, the Legal Services team had a savings target of 30% for any contract review or renewal. By signing a multiyear contract with LexisNexis, they were able to exceed this target and save 50% on their first year’s subscription.

But cost savings weren’t the only consideration. For Legal and Democratic Services Practice Manager Sam Thompson, having a simple pricing and invoicing structure from one supplier made it easier to plan, budget, track and control costs. With LexisNexis, Sam spends less time on admin and more time adding value. The price certainty allowed him to get a three‐year budget approved in advance.

“There is the stark reality in local authority that your budget is your budget. If you overspend in one area, you look to balance it with underspend in another. Switching to LexisNexis has allowed us to cut our first year’s subscription in half.”

“Switching to LexisNexis has allowed us to cut our first year’s subscription in half.”

One for all

Not only does LexisNexis cost less, it immediately saves Durham County Council’s 25 solicitors time.

When researching, they can hop from the clear and concise practical guidance in LexisPSL to the underlying source law in LexisLibrary with just one click. There is no need to log in to different products or waste time repeating the same search. By automatically suggesting relevant content, guidance and precedents — LexisNexis helps the legal team find and use more relevant content. With one search, they get more value from LexisNexis.

“I find the LexisPSL layout particularly useful. There is an overview button at the top of the page, with tabs for different types of resources — practice notes, legislation and so on. Everything you need is there. And I like how the practice notes are set out as the practical issues we face, rather than a textbook.”

Andrea Thorne
Procurement Solicitor

Topical toolkits

Durham County Council’s Legal Services LexisNexis contract began just as COVID‐19 struck. The team were suddenly working from home just as there was a huge spike in demand for their advice.

From day one, LexisNexis was set up to allow the team to access all the law and guidance they needed from anywhere. The LexisNexis COVID‐19 toolkit gave immediate and easy access to relevant news, practical guidance, Q&As and tools, tailored specifically to different practice areas.

The Children, Adult and Health team have also found having Jordan’s Family content available online indispensable through lockdown. They were all able to access the text at any time and from any place.

The LexisNexis’ Brexit toolkit is also helping the team to answer pressing questions on EU and UK Constitutional Law.

“Since lockdown I have had to deal with quite a few urgent COVID‐19 issues and its effect on contracts and suppliers. Having a resource with everything at my fingertips has been great, as has the COVID‐19 toolkit generally.”

Andrea Thorne
Procurement Solicitor

Seamless transition

One of the most common concerns when switching legal intelligence provider is the downtime. Durham were worried that switching and training whilst in the midst of a pandemic whilst working from home would be a problem. With LexisNexis, it wasn’t an issue.

As an online system, there’s nothing to setup or install. It is simple and intuitive to use. LexisNexis ran a series of virtual support sessions to make sure DCC’s Legal Services teams were ready to hit the ground running from Day One.

All of this meant Legal Services were able to make a seamless transition to the new system, with no downtime or teething problems. They were free to focus their precious time and energy where it really matters — on the people of County Durham.

“It seems to have been a fairly painless transition over to LexisNexis. I was expecting to have an inbox full of queries, but it’s all gone very smoothly.”

Sam Thompson
Legal and Democratic Services Practice Manager

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**Trials are provided to all LexisPSL and LexisLibrary content, excluding Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance, subscription packages are tailored to your specific needs. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial.

Durham County Council