Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
July/August 2003, by Delia Venables

Comment about Divorce-Online
from Lawrence McNulty

I was intrigued to read in the May/June issue of this newsletter about the "success" of Divorce-Online (www.divorce-online.co.uk) and I wonder how many other readers thought about the lessons to be learned from it?

According to the press release you quoted, the site's success is being measured by the 5000 DIY divorce packs it has sold. Of what benefit has that been to the 202 law firms who have paid £150 a year to be in the Divorce-Online Directory? Two of my client-firms signed up for the Directory in response to very upbeat mailers sent to them from Divorce-Online. Regrettably, over a two-year period, one of them received just a single referral, and the other received no referrals at all. Is this typical of the other 200 law firms who, between them, have supported the online site to the tune of £30,000 each year?

Mark Keenan is very open, not to say proud, that the site also offers consent order drafting and separation agreements, not to mention change of name documents plus cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements. When logging onto the web site a free Will is offered to anyone who buys a DIY divorce pack. The $64,000 question has to be, why should any law firm want to be associated with such a service as Divorce-Online? Competitive is the word which comes more readily to mind than complementary! This site is quite unique in that its primary purpose for existing seems to be to cut the solicitor out of the legal process, whereas other legal marketing sites purport to have the opposite focus!

Lawrence McNulty is Proprietor of Client Appeal (www.clientappeal.co.uk, the pr & marketing consultancy for law firms.
email mcnulty@clientappeal.co.uk.

Mark Keenan, of Divorce-Online, replies...

The benefit to our subscribed law firms is they get targeted exposure on the UK’s leading divorce and separation website for the cost of one hour of one fee earners time for the year. It therefore only takes in reality one minor case to pay for the advertising for a whole year.

We are sorry that his two firms did not perceive a benefit from being in the directory but as with all directories we can only send referrals where the client has requested an appointment through the online form. Most clients will actually telephone the firm directly from the details in the directory and it is up to the member firm to monitor this themselves. Those firms that have a good monitoring process do check and continue to subscribe.

We receive over 60,000 visitors a month from people who are solely concerned with divorce. We also have an extremely good relationship with the media and frequently feature in chat shows and articles.

We continue to have new firms subscribe all the time and the amount of referrals going to our existing firms has grown considerably since we first launched the Directory in October 2001.

Mark Keenan, mark.keenan@divorce-online.co.uk.

Back to Contents.