AMR supports Wasserstein & Co. in its recent acquisition of American Lawyer Media (ALM)

Provides insights for the legal information sector

The deal

On July 31, 2014 Wasserstein & Co. (Wasserstein) closed its transaction to purchase ALM Media (ALM). Wasserstein previously owned the company for close to 10 years, during which time ALM became a national leader in the legal news and information market. Wasserstein engaged AMR International as industry advisors on this transaction, to provide market analysis and customer referencing as part of a commercial due diligence engagement.

The market for legal media, information and technology – key insights

  • Perhaps no professional services industry has been impacted by disruptive technology change more than the $600bn global legal services market. The ubiquitous adoption of information aggregators such as Lexis Nexis and Westlaw, e-discovery products and workflow tools such as Practical Law Company, have forever altered the way law is practiced. In fact, technology is now a critical success factor for law firms, large and small.
  • Change in legal media, which is a much smaller market than digital information and workflow, has been slower. Lawyers regularly consume media products, such as ALM’s revered brands (e.g., American Lawyer and New York Law Journal) to stay up-to-date with practice developments. However, consumption of digital roughly breaks along generational lines and is slower to change than other vertical markets, given the profession’s inherent comfort with printed paper. Younger lawyers also consume different types of media than their more senior colleagues, including social media, blogs and more entertaining editorial styles.
  • ALM’s published media products are market leaders on a national and regional basis. Their content is viewed as the most credible and is a currency in the legal profession. These advantages explain its high subscription revenues vs. other B2B titles, which tend to be controlled circulation. There is an opportunity to deliver the content in ways more relevant to younger users and secure its leading position for the next generation of lawyers. The challenge will be finding the “white spaces