14 August 2020

Thomson Reuters buys digital court document and evidence-sharing platform CaseLines

CaseLines is helping courts with digital transformation amid rise in virtual hearings

Acquisition comes as courts move to virtual hearings amid the coronavirus pandemic

Thomson Reuters has acquired cloud-based court document and evidence management platform CaseLines as part of a move to enhance the company’s courts administration offering. 

The deal comes amid a shift to virtual court hearings in response to the coronavirus pandemic. CaseLines is helping courts embrace digital transformation by ditching paper-based files in favour of digital evidence bundles that can be managed and shared between courts and legal teams, making the justice process more efficient. The platform is used by governments, judges, courts and law firms around the world.

Stephen Rubley, president of the government segment of Thomson Reuters, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is driving the courts to expedite their transition to the digital era. The CaseLines platform enables the courts to operate in a faster, more efficient manner, helping people get the justice they deserve.”

He added: “By developing new technologies and capabilities, of which we are at the forefront, our aim is to support our customers in creating an increasingly accessible justice system for all.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. 

CaseLines has already had a significant impact on the criminal justice system in the UK where paper documents have been replaced by CaseLines’ digital platform, helping the courts to continue operating smoothly despite the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Paul Sachs, founder of CaseLines, said: “In Thomson Reuters we found a strategic buyer that shares our commitment to delivering a step change in the efficient delivery of justice. We have a proven record of enabling the courts’ digital transformation in the UK. We are optimistic that with Thomson Reuters global footprint we will be able to help courts around the world continue to operate effectively and efficiently into the future.”

Thomson Reuters also recently struck a deal with Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General to provide the CaseLines platform across the Canadian province’s civil, criminal and family courts.

Doug Downey, Ontario’s AG, said: “By bringing Thomson Reuters CaseLines to our province, a game changing technology that will make Ontario a leader in modern court systems, I sent a clear signal that we have put an end to watching Ontario’s justice system fall continuously behind. Together with our justice partners, we have moved our entire justice system forward by decades in a matter of months during the Covid-19 recovery, and we are not looking back.”

UK mid-market M&A firm Cavendish Corporate Finance advised on the transaction. James Farrugia, a partner at Cavendish, said the deal will help CaseLines accelerate its growth in a fast-growing and highly-profitable market. The global digital evidence market is expected to be worth $8.4bn by 2024, though the impact of the pandemic could help propel that growth even faster given the rise in virtual hearings.

In March, legal technology expert Richard Susskind helped launch Remote Courts Worldwide, a UK government-backed project to share experiences of using remote working technology to keep courts around the world operating throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

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