As 2022 winds down, Legal Current is reflecting on the Legal Professionals business’s milestones from the year. Today we look back at Thomson Reuters commemorating  150 years of customer partnership and innovation in honor of the 1872 founding of John B. West Publisher and Book Seller.

The organization founded in 1872 was the first iteration of what would become West Publishing Company, and eventually, Thomson Reuters. Paul Fischer, president, Thomson Reuters Legal Professionals, explained the significance of the sesquicentennial.

“Many of the earliest innovations of John West’s business, such as bringing in a large team of attorneys to annotate the law, creating digests, and developing the West Key Number System taxonomy to organize the law, revolutionized legal research for generations and remain critical to our business today,” Fischer said. “Our exclusive attorney-authored content and our living taxonomy of the law provide the deep data needed by artificial intelligence technology to drive our next-generation legal research products.”

Fischer noted how the company’s earliest innovations have been foundational to ongoing innovative efforts, including Westlaw Precision. At the SYNERGY2022 conference, Fischer reflected on West’s passion for listening to and learning from customers.

“His legacy of customer-driven innovation remains the hallmark of our business,” Fischer said. “His innovative spirit lives on in Westlaw – a product that still carries his name. We believe the best way to honor his memory is to continue building on our unique content and metadata to train and power AI and machine-learning technologies.”

Paul Fischer presenting at SYNERGY2022

As SYNERGY2022 attendees enjoyed an evening at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Fischer gave a toast to the business’s 150th anniversary. Read Fischer’s reflections on prioritizing partnerships with customers, and see moments from the night at the museum in the SYNERGY2022 highlights reel.

Throughout 2022, Thomson Reuters leaders have shared their perspectives on how West’s legacy of customer partnership and innovation endures today. Read their profiles to learn more:

Finally, check out the timeline of key moments in Thomson Reuters history for more on West’s impact on the U.S. legal system and legal systems around the world.

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