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English barristers lead colonisation of the legal web

Added: (Wed Feb 27 2002)

Pressbox (Press Release) -

For Immediate Release
Date: 25th February 2002

English barristers lead colonisation of the legal web

Research carried out by infolaw, the premier UK legal gateway, while reviewing and updating its
'Lawyers on the Web' directory, has produced some surprising results.

infolaw is the original legal portal. Its 'Lawyers on the Web' directory, listing UK, Irish and Offshore
solicitors, barristers and law firm group websites, has expanded gradually over the years as lawyers
have slowly woken up to the web. This year's extensive review expanded the directory to over 2,500
websites - the most comprehensive UK lawyers' website directory available today.

In the course of the review, infolaw conducted many thousands of web searches to track down
elusive web addresses, checked all links and visited many hundreds of new and suspect sites. The
research produced the following significant findings:

* Barristers in England and Wales are the most active profession on the web, with over 36% of
chambers having a web presence.
* Law firms in Scotland, where over 30% of firms have a website, lead over law firms in England and
Wales, where only about 20% of firms have got their internet act together.
* Some 5% of top 500 UK law firms appear not to have websites.
* More than 13% of sole practitioners in England and Wales have websites - ie not too far below the
average for the profession as a whole.
* A substantial number of firms have abandoned former domain names - and do not point requests
to the old domain to their new site.

Commenting on the results, Nick Holmes, infolaw's Managing Director and co-author of Researching
the Legal Web (Butterworths), said:

'One might expect individual barristers to be geared to developing their own practice rather than that
of their overall chambers, and the more collectively organised solicitors firms to be more keen to
market their brand online. As more than 50% of the UK are now connected to the internet, the
absence of a web presence will surely fail to impress any potential client. The UK 'high street' law
firm has always been slow to adopt new technology and our research confirms this conservatism.
There are, however, many notable exceptions, with some very small firms leading the way with legal
e-commerce. Time will surely demonstrate that that 200 (for that is all it takes to set up a simple
website) would have been well spent.'

Access to the 'Lawyers on the Web' directory and the website listings themselves are free. The
directory is searchable by type, name, location and specialisation and results link directly to the
web. To access the service go to:


Notes to editors

About infolaw
infolaw (http://www.infolaw.co.uk) has been active on the web since February 1995 and, as well as
being the longest-standing, is still regarded as the best UK legal gateway. The free access areas of
the infolaw website include a well-organised listing of over 2,000 carefully screened Legal Resources
on the web, as well as the newly revamped Lawyers on the Web directory of UK and Irish law firm
and chambers websites.

Last September infolaw launched its Lawfinder web search service. This unique new subscription-
based service enables users to access over 38,000 Acts, SIs, Cases, Forms and Precedents and
Other Official Documents from a single base. The service has recently been expanded to include a
Procedure section covering Civil and Family Procedure Rules and Practice Directions.

Lawyers on the Web research statistics
No of websites* listed / Total no of firms/chambers** (Websites as % of total)

Barristers chambers: England & Wales: 215 / 595 (36%)
Solicitors firms: Scotland: 370 / 1250 (30%)
Solicitors firms: England & Wales: 1695 / 8306 (20%)
Solicitors firms: Northern Ireland: 57 / 450 (13%)
Solicitors firms: Ireland: 98 / 1900 (5%)

* Principal websites - many firms have additional specialist sites.
** Principal offices - figures sourced from relevant professional body.

For further information contact:

Nick Holmes
Information for Lawyers Limited
5 Coval Passage, London SW14 7RE
Tel +44 (0)20 8878 3033
Web http://www.infolaw.co.uk

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