The Canadian Legal Bookshelf

The Canadian Legal Bookshelf

Announcing the Canadian legal bookshelf – a selection of Irwin Law Essentials of Canadian Law series now available on vLex Canada.

Compass (formerly Maritime Law Book) is thrilled to announce that leading Canadian legal publisher Irwin Law has integrated a core suite of its award-winning Essentials of Canadian Law series into the vLex Canada legal research platform.


vLex Canada subscribers will find over a dozen searchable and annotatable full-text titles in areas like criminal law, family law, contracts, torts, constitutional, Charter of Rights, evidence and more alongside current case law and the historical Maritime Law Book national and regional reporter series. These penultimate, or next-most-recent, titles are indispensible for the legal generalist and for anyone needing easy access to trustworthy materials outside their specialty.


Now, whether through topic-based, natural language or Boolean searching, lawyers and researchers can gain a much faster and deeper appreciation of the state of the law on a single, advanced research platform. Free access to primary law and a selection of secondary sources can be found on vLex Canada Open. The premium service including the Irwin Law and other, soon-to-be-added resources is available for 7-day free trials, and $59/month thereafter.


"Surveys have shown that fewer than half of Canadian lawyers carry out case law research on one of the big 2 platforms. Too expensive! Yet, CanLII alone can’t provide all that is needed,” says Colin Lachance. “By integrating topic-based searching, detailed headnotes and high-demand secondary sources into an advanced platform, we aim to serve those who need to supplement their free research sources in a seamless and affordable way. Irwin Law, as the leading, independent legal text publisher in Canada, has fantastic content developed by top experts and is highly trusted by courts. We are ecstatic at the opportunity to integrate this important selection of their resources in the creation of a service that makes affordable research possible.”


Jeff Miller, CEO of Irwin Law Inc., stated: “We are very pleased to provide these resources to Compass in this exciting new venture.”


Though new to Canada, the advanced vLex research platform serves hundreds of thousands of customers and millions of free users around the globe through intelligent technology and extensive personalization features. Application of Machine Learning and other artificial intelligence techniques on the platform to the Canadian content will support soon-to-arrive features such as similar case recommendations, automatic topical classification of cases, unique visualizations to support research, and detailed court analytics.




vLex Canada is based in Ottawa and led by former CanLII CEO, Colin Lachance. In November of 2016, Colin led the effort to acquire and re-purpose the Maritime Law Book collection when that company announced its intent to shut its doors after 47 years of publishing Canadian case law. Launched initially as “Compass”, in December of 2016, the new company began its efforts to reinvigorate competition in the Canadian primary law research market. In May Compass announced that it had taken investment from international legal publishers vLex (Spain) and Justia (U.S.) and would shortly re-launch its research service on the vLex platform, and that the CEOs of those companies would join the Compass Board of Directors. Compass also announced the appointment of Ottawa-based and internationally-renowned legal market analyst Jordan Furlong to its Board of Directors. Compass / vLex Canada is the exclusive distributor of vLex products in Canada, including vLex Global (over 90M legal documents from over 100 countries) and vLex U.S. (over 20M U.S. documents from covering federal and state codes and reported cases).

Contact:         Colin Lachance

                        CEO, Compass (formerly Maritime Law Book)






Irwin Law, based in Toronto, brings an innovative approach and fresh ideas to legal publishing. Established in 1996 and at inception affiliated with the Stoddart Publishing Group, Irwin Law was purchased by LexisNexis predecessor Quickaw in 1999 and then repurchased in 2002 by a small group led by Irwin Law's founding publisher, Jeffrey Miller. Irwin Law books analyze the complex issues of the day in a succinct and readable style and in a manner that is probing and thoughtful and its authors are among the leading law practitioners and professors in Canada and the world. Irwin Law is the North American agent for The Federation Press, an independent Australian legal publisher.

Contact:         Jeff Miller

                        CEO, Irwin Law






Included titles:

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Fifth Edition), Robert J. Sharpe and Kent Roach


Canadian Family Law (Sixth Edition), Julien D. Payne and Marilyn A. Payne


Criminal Law (Fifth Edition), Kent Roach


Constitutional Law (Fourth Edition), Patrick J. Monahan and Byron Shaw


The Law of Contracts (First Edition), John D. McCamus


The Law of Evidence (Sixth Edition), David M. Paciocco and Lee Stuesser


The Law of Torts (Fourth Edition), Philip H. Osborne

Criminal Procedure (Second Edition), Steve Coughlan


Detention and Arrest (First Edition), Steve Coughlan and Glen Luther


Bank and Customer Law in Canada (First Edition), M.H. Ogilvie


Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law (First Edition), Roderick J. Wood


Legal Research & Writing (Third Edition), Ted Tjaden


Child Support Guidelines in Canada (2012 Edition), Julien D. Payne and Marilyn A. Payne