The Thomson empire (which includes West, Elite, and Hildebrandt) now includes Baker Robbins (BRCO), one of the leading legal technology consulting firms. 

A BRCO press release states that the acquisition “provides a powerful complement to the Thomson portfolio of legal consulting services, and will be aligned with the company’s Consulting Services group…. co-founders, Chairman David Baker and President and CEO Brad Robbins, will continue to provide leadership for the firm…. David Baker said the hallmarks of objectivity and accountability remain the essence of the firm.”

From what I have see, Hildebrandt has indeed remained independent, so I suspect BRCO will as well. But the interesting question is how Thomson will create synergies with strategy and legal technology consultants under the same roof as a range of software and information services. (Hildebrandt, by the way, has had a strategic partnership with BRCO for several years.) I imagine it’s fine line between allowing the independence of consulting units and gaining synergies.

Until not long ago, it has seemed that suppliers to the legal market were highly fragmented. With Reed Elsevier (Lexis-Nexis) and Thomson acquisitions, we have seen significant consolidation. It will be interesting to see how this continues and how the competition between L-N and Thomson will play out.