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Company History
LexisNexis has compiled a long history of delivering on its mission—to enable its customers to spend less time searching for critical information and more time using LexisNexis knowledge management tools to guide critical decisions. Legal professionals have trusted the publishing brands in the LexisNexis Group for more than a century. 

For the past three decades, the company’s markets have grown to include business people and other professionals in governments, corporations, academic institutions and other enterprises, all with access to this world of critical information via easy-to-use electronic products. 

In 1994, Reed Elsevier acquired the LexisNexis™ service. Begun in Dayton as a contractor to the US Air Force in 1966, its electronic data-search system became the first to retrieve full-text documents. In 1973, the company introduced a legal-research system that revolutionized the way in which legal research and analysis was conducted. The technology propelled the legal profession into a new era. 

In 1979, a companion news and business-information service was introduced under the Nexis banner. Michie™, founded in the late 1800s and the sole provider of statutes for 35 U.S. states and territories, joined the fold of LexisNexis in 1987.

With the advent of the World Wide Web, LexisNexis moved its information products and services to the new distribution channel, eliminating the need for proprietary software or extensive training. In September 1997, LexisNexis debuted the first Web-based service for U.S. legal professionals, the precursor to LexisNexis™ at www.lexis.com

In 2002, LexisNexis Butterworths Canada and Quicklaw Inc., Canada’s leading online legal research service, agreed to merge. Late in the year, they were formally joined to become LexisNexis Canada, a business unit of North American Legal Markets. 

The history of LexisNexis Group represents one of converging companies that today operate within a unified global organization. First to join Reed Elsevier via Reed in 1970 was the legal publishing Butterworths Group, founded in 1818 in the UK. By the 1930s, Butterworths had expanded to other common-law countries, with operations in India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In 1990 Martindale-Hubbell, became part of Reed Elsevier bringing with it a history dating back to the first Martindale law directory published in 1868. 

Now a truly international player with established and expanding operations in North America, Europe, South Africa and Asia Pacific, Reed Elsevier in 1998 acquired respected U.S. legal publisher Matthew Bender (founded in 1887) and the remaining interest it did not own in leading citator Shepard’s Company (founded in 1873). The scene was set for the globalization of the LexisNexis Group that, for the first time in October 2000, united the different parts of Reed Elsevier’s legal-publishing activities. In 2002, the company acquired legal online publishers Quicklaw Inc. of Canada and MBO Verlag GmbH of Germany.

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