Web week

The Lawyer‘s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs. If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@ thelawyer. com.

•What a bunch of yahoosWhen used properly, a survey can be a useful tool to illustrate public opinion; at most other times, a survey is a press release in statistical clothing. There is a bit of the latter in Yahoo! Answers’ (www.yahoo .co.uk/answers) poll of more than 1,000 lawyers.

After all those phone calls, here is the jaw-dropping conclusion: “The Yahoo! Answers survey shows that most people want to be better at something.”

The phone bill was worth it then.

The survey found that 56 per cent of lawyers have a secret desire to travel more, but do not have the time, 35 per cent want to improve their cooking skills and 23 per cent want to learn Spanish as a second language. It could be time to invest in that Madrid-based cooking school offering weekend classes.

The survey ends on a serious but proud note: “Yahoo! Answers must be quoted when quoting these stats.”


•Another Finers messDespite going through a web rebrand, Finers Stephens Innocent (www.fsilaw.com) has bucked the trend and kept its logo legible for the viewing public.

The letters F, S and I are clearly visible in black on a white background, reading from left to right. The only worrying development is the inclusion of an ever-watchful, unblinking eye as a symbol on the website.

To celebrate, Finers will give 10p to charity for every click made on the website before 1 July. The proceeds will be shared equally between children’s hospices Helen House and Douglas House and the NSPCC. Before everyone rushes to click on Finers’ website in an effort to bankrupt the firm for fun, the limit is £2,000.

The rebrand has also given the firm’s lawyers a chance to break out their party clothes. “The look of the new website builds on FSI’s distinctive orange corporate colour, with many of the staff members sporting orange dress items in their photos,” says the marketing spiel.

Finally, the partners have been encouraged to present their human sides in the lawyer profiles. Each one has provided a random fact, which has produced gems such as “Graham enjoys running marathons”, “Robert is a keen woodturner” and “Nicola’s children run a pet hotel”.

The only partner not to provide a factoid is name partner Mark Stephens, who instead invites people to download his CV. All 16 pages of it.

•Spoil tortVideo killed the radio star, and now lawyers are killing the internet, according to social networking blog Mashable (http://mashable.com).

Mashable presents the top 10 websites shut down by lawyers for breaches of IP. Or, as Mashable puts it: “Unfortunately, people are slowly accepting the fact that some cool things are gone – and they’re not coming back, because someone somewhere needs to make more money.”

Most of the sites are to do with music and file sharing, such as Napster and Grokster. Other sites include the Online Guitar Archive, which published the tablature to popular songs, and online gadget shop Lik-Sang, closed down by Sony for illegally importing PSP consoles.

Hope you all feel suitably guilty.

•PEP talkThe end of the financial year for most firms has come and gone, and so now it’s time to relax for five minutes and see how everyone did.

The Lawyer (www.thelawyer. com) has launched ‘Top of the PEPs’, running up-to-date coverage of the latest profit per equity partner (PEP) figures as they come in from all around the country.

Maybe you’ll be ogling the figures with jealousy, wondering how you can update your CV and break into the £1m club. Or perhaps your butler will check the PEP table for you while you play croquet and eat larks’ tongues off a solid-gold platter. Either way, there’s no escaping the PEP table.