Practitioners form global IT network

AN INTERNATIONAL network of lawyers has been set up for computer companies which are expanding their empires overseas.

The Computer Lawyers' Consortium aims to link up 60 legal professionals in all the major trading companies of the world.

They will advise clients

referred by other consortium members on the dangers of establishing a high-tech business under unfamiliar legal systems.

Roger Loosley, a senior partner with Fladgate Fielder in Basingstoke, became chair of the group at its launch conference in London last month.

Tom Knox, partner with Washington DC firm Tucker Flyer & Lewis, is treasurer, and Catherine Erkelens, partner with Brussels-based Carrant Andre-Durrant is secretary.

The launch, attended by representatives from Jerusalem to Washington, was addressed by John Boyd QC, director of public affairs and communications at Digital Equipment Co.

He said: "It is vital for IT companies trading abroad to secure expert legal guidance."

The consortium has 10 members in 10 countries – but is hoping to expand to its target membership in the next 18 months. Clients will be offered advice on everything from copyright to employment law.