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Legal news service Law360 lays off journalists

The pink slips come after Law360's parent company posted record profits for 2023; the company's CEO says it will leverage AI tools to help it achieve further financial growth.

The pink slips come after Law360's parent company posted record profits for 2023; the company's CEO says it will leverage AI tools to help it achieve further financial growth.

(Stock image, Graphic by The Desk)

The parent company of Law360 has laid off around 10 percent of the operation’s newsroom employees, according to multiple reports from affected journalists this week

The layoffs came within hours of Law360 owner RELX announcing it earned a record profit of £3.03 billion (around U.S. $3.82 billion) on revenue of £9.161 billion (around U.S. $11.54 billion) during 2023.

“Today at Law360, our parent company announced record profits for 2023, and then our [Editor-in-Chief] laid off 10 percent of our newsroom,” wrote Jennifer Doherty, a journalist who covers international trade and sanctions for the website.

Other journalists impacted by the job losses at Law360 include:

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  • Ruben Castaneda (editor-at-large)
  • Emily Enfinger (reporter)
  • Brent Godwin (reporter)
  • Beth JoJack (reporter)
  • Kelly Lienhard (reporter)
  • Ace Pedraza (reporter)
  • Scott Russell (editor)
  • Caitlin Wolper (editor)
  • Quinn Wilson (reporter)

Law360 shares common ownership with database and research firm LexisNexis. On its website, the news outlet says its team of over 350 journalists produce over 200 articles focused on legal affairs every day, which reach nearly 3 million newsletter subscribers.

The outlet’s journalism is popular with those in the legal community, including government and private practice attorneys, law enforcement officials, academics and researchers. Its primary competitors include Bloomberg Law, Courthouse News Service, the National Law Review and Reuters Legal.

Last month, union journalists held a one-day strike to oppose alleged unfair labor practices by RELX and its subsidiary Portfolio Media, which operates Law360. The strike happened after the NewsGuild of New York filed a complaint against Portfolio Media alleging the company was negotiating toward a new collective bargaining agreement in bad faith.

The complaint accused Portfolio Media of demanding less-favorable terms for covered journalists if negotiations toward a new agreement continued to drag on. The threat reportedly happened during a November bargaining agreement, according to the entertainment website The Wrap, which took place 11 months after its prior agreement with the union expired.

“Law360 Union members work hard to make the company a success and LexisNexis needs to recognize their contributions with good faith proposals that meaningfully address our concerns,” Susan DeCarava, the president of the NewsGuild of New York, said in a statement at the time. “Anything less is unacceptable and will lead to further labor strife.” (Disclosure: DeCarava assisted this reporter on an unrelated matter connected to his prior employment at Thomson Reuters in 2013. The matter involved a union grievance.)

“Instead of working today, we are gathering together, refusing to work and standing up for a fair contract,” reporter Hailey Konnath in December. “LexisNexis needs to understand that we will not back down, and today they will see that in full effect as we picket outside their headquarters.”

On Thursday, executives at RELX touted its financial gains in 2023 while reassuring investors that the company expects to see sutained growth this year.

“RELX delivered strong revenue and profit growth in 2023, driven by the ongoing shift in business mix towards higher growth information based analytics and decision tools that deliver enhanced value to our customers across market segments,” Erik Engstrom, the CEO of the London-based company, said in a statement.

Engstrom said evolving artificial intelligence tools “will continue to be an important driver of customer value and growth in our business for many years to come.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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