High hopes for on-line list of UK solicitors

Legacy Legal lists registered solicitors by region. The site also features short articles on legal topics, with interactive links to solicitors specialising in the relevant area of law.

The service is being run by Legacy Marketing and Communications, an advertising, marketing and design company with a history of working with the legal profession, and is co-ordinated by Legacy IT director Jon Ashby and research manager Gill Shirran.

The site will soon catalogue solicitors by specialist fields of competence and there are plans to introduce an international section.

Firms pay a one-off registration fee and an annual payment to feature on the site.

John Irving, director of management consultant BDO Stoyhayward, said: “I think it will take off. A year ago there were less than 50 law firms on the World Wide Web. Now there are over 400. But fundamentals need to be improved, such as the communications infrastructure and the speed of response.”

Clive Whitfield-Jones, a senior partner with Jeffrey Green Russell, said: “Substantial clients do not find lawyers by searching the Net. But someone who needs a will, for example, might use an Internet directory to find a lawyer.”

Donald O Sternfeld, information systems director at US firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, said: “I can't honestly see general counsel looking for a lawyer on the Net.”