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Spotlight on Legislation


We spoke to our editors about their work and how it brings value to our customers.

Q&A with Sandra Blackwood, Editorial Team Manager, Westlaw UK Legislation Department

Q: What’s the background of the Legislation Team?

Sandra: We have a mixture of people from legally qualified backgrounds including many ex-practitioners, through to people who have research backgrounds such as history, and English literature.  

I started at Thomson Reuters eight years ago pretty much straight out of university, where I did an English literature and journalism degree. I really loved the media law element of my degree, so when I saw the role at Thomson Reuters that combined publishing with the legal side I thought that it was perfect for me.

I think the team behind legislation on Westlaw UK are so invested in it they want to make sure that what we produce is something we can be proud of and that customers can rely on.

Q. Is there any unique training experience that you have to undertake before you can work in the legislation team?
Sandra: When an Editor first starts in the legislation department there’s an intensive two week process for us to learn all the nuts and bolts behind the processes that need to happen for the legislation to get online and to start learning about the interpretation of legislation and how we can reflect what’s happening on Westlaw UK.

That’s supported with a mentor process so that our new starters always have someone that they can check in with. We have a really robust quality check so that we know everything that’s going to be on Westlaw UK for our customers has been checked, is accurate and can be relied on.

And then as our Editors progress we’re lucky to get regular in-depth training from Daniel Greenberg who’s Parliamentary Counsel with 20 years’ experience in drafting legislation, so we’re really lucky with that support. The legislation is so niche that there’s so much to know about it and I think we’ve become experts in that.

I think we're just legislation geeks.

Q: What is it that makes Westlaw UK Legislation Team unique?
Sandra: I think because we have members of the team who are legally qualified and some that are ex-practitioners we understand what our service needs to produce from that legal background, it’s not just Editors guessing at what our customer needs are, we really understand what our customers want from a legislation service.

What I think makes our team unique is that we genuinely care about the service that we’re providing. We listen to what our customers want and what they’re telling us they need and we respond to those needs. Whether it’s something small, such as a piece of legislation that is outside of our usual content coverage, or whether it’s something that is bigger that leads to a full enhancement, we’re reacting to our customers’ needs and as their needs change we’re on top of that.

I think our customers rely on the quick service that we provide and the accuracy that’s within our service. We pride ourselves on our quality, on our vast coverage and on our currency so our customers know that it’s the best information available.

Q: What do you love about your job?
 I love the people that we work with and I love the product that we’ve produced. I think it’s really interesting every day to see the legislation coming from the government and then to see it in the news and see how our role relates to what’s going on in the wider world and how we’re producing information that can be used by our customers.