Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sweet & Maxwell

Sweet & Maxwell is a British publisher specializing in legal publications. Sweet & Maxwell publishes Westlaw-UK, as well as the Lawtel, LocalawUK, Legal Hub, and DocDel on-line services. It also published many well-regarded loose leafs and books. Its flagship print products include the White Book (publishing the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) along with extensive commentary and additional material) and Archibald Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice (the leading practitioners' text for criminal lawyers in England & Wales and several other common law jurisdictions around the world).

Sweet & Maxwell is part of the European law publisher’s initiative Law Publishers in Europe.

Brief history of Sweet & Maxwell
  • 1799: Stephen Sweet begins trading as a law bookseller. Based in Chancery Lane, London, his first published work was Parker's Reports of Cases in the Court of Exchequer (1800).
  • 1800: Alexander Maxwell commences as a bookseller and auctioneer in Fetter Lane, London, initially specialising in religious books.
  • 1802: First publication of Woodfall on Landlord and Tenant - Sweet & Maxwell's oldest title still in print.
  • 1810: Stevens & Sons started in business.
  • 1831: Alexander Maxwell granted a Royal Warrant as Law Bookseller in Ordinary to King William IV.
  • 1882: The White Book commences publication as The Annual Chancery Practice
  • 1889: Sweet and Maxwell merge. Stevens & Sons refuses to join.
  • 1897: Sweet & Maxwell started the publication of the Encyclopaedia of the Laws of England, the first modern work of its kind.
  • 1941: The third edition of the Encyclopaedia of the Laws of England is destroyed by enemy action during the Blitz on London during the Second World War. Paper stock and manuscript copy were all destroyed, and publication abandoned.
  • 1950: Stevens & Sons merges with Sweet & Maxwell - 61 years after first refusing to do so. Palmer's Company Law and Treitel on Contract are now added to the list.
  • 1956: Sweet & Maxwell acquires W.Green, the Scottish Law Publisher.
  • 1994: Brehon Publishing and The Round Hall Press acquired and merged to form Round Hall Sweet & Maxwell in Dublin.1995: First CD-ROM published: The Supreme Court Practice. Sweet & Maxwell acquires Legal Information Resources (LIR), based in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire. LIR had been founded by law librarians to assist legal researchers in tracking articles and key information. This led the company to greater development and application of computer technologies and the importance of standard authority files and taxonomy. This in turn made LIR a perfect fit for Sweet & Maxwell's ambitions in this area, highlighted by the transfer of the Current Law publishing process to Yorkshire. 
  • 1996: IRA bomb explodes outside offices in London's Docklands - Sweet & Maxwell relocate to current address at Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage, London.
  • 2001: Sweet & Maxwell merges with the Thomson-owned GEE Publishing to form one of the UK's leading legal & regulatory publishers. The GEE brand is retained for regulatory products.
  • 2002: The acquisition of Lawtel adds to Sweet & Maxwell's family of complementary online brands. Lawtel offers current awareness and other legal services designed to allow lawyers to keep in touch with the latest developments at their desktops.
  • 2003: Its Asia division, with headquarters in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, won the contract to supply law books to the Hong Kong government.

by Paul Green

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