National firm Eversheds has conducted a survey which shows that companies rarely take legal advice before setting up a Web site.

The survey, based on telephone interviews conducted last month among 111 companies with an annual turnover of more than £250,000, also showed roughly three quarters of companies choose domain names without first checking their legality.

Also, according to Eversheds' research, four out of 10 companies responding to the survey had used the trade names and trade marks of other companies on their Web sites, and of these companies, 41 per cent had not checked the legality of this.

Eversheds' head of intellectual property, Isabel Davies, described the Internet as a "legal minefield".