Client: Thomson Reuters

‘The Game of Tomes’


Archbold, the pre-eminent reference work in the criminal courts since 1822, and one of Thomson Reuters’ flagship brands in the legal market, faced significant revenue loss due to the decision of the Ministry of Justice in 2016 that Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, a relatively new entrant to the market (first published by OUP in 1991) would be the preferred text in the criminal courts. Debate on this decision continued across legal circles until the Ministry of Justice recently announced that judges will once again be free to choose Archbold as their court book.


Spinnaker, working with IRN Research, recruited and conducted a large-scale UK-wide research project to understand market perception and identify future product proposition. First, a detailed online survey to legal professionals in the criminal market and then followed by 50 semi-structured qualitative interviews by telephone and in person with barristers, solicitor advocates, members of the judiciary and the Crown Prosecution Service. Research focused on: product proposition, preferences, value, specific product areas, brand attributes, purchasing and price and future improvements.

“We selected Spinnaker to conduct a major piece of research into one of our flagship products. Jemma adopted a flexible, collaborative approach, designing and delivering substantial qualitative and quantitative research stages on time and to budget. We benefited from Spinnaker’s substantial track record in the legal information industry: their combination of deep industry expertise and fresh insight into our challenges generated clear, actionable recommendations. Professional and collaborative, Spinnaker are great to work with and I would highly recommend them for similar projects.”

Roxanne Selby
Head of Courts and Small Law Firm Strategy, Thomson Reuters UK


Spinnaker delivered a detailed and considered final presentation of market research findings and strategic recommendations including priority action points (short, mid- and long-term), pricing strategy, direction of 14 specific detailed product elements (from index to type size) and insight as to the future evolution of criminal law. This formed a key part of the Archbold action plan for 2018-2022 as well as Thomson Reuters’ UK criminal market strategy as a whole.