Legal Resources Online provided by Solicitors

These firms have gone beyond a marketing approach to create a free legal resource in their area of expertise and to keep it up to date. There is certainly an element of public service in all these sites.

I have written an article called Solicitors providing free content on their websites in the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers, September/October 2017 issue. The article covers the types of free legal information provided by Solicitors on their websites and their motivation for providing it - is it good marketing, or providing a public service - or perhaps both!

  • abuselaw.co.uk is a site provided by Peter Garsden, originally from Manchester firm Abney Garsden but now part of Simpson Millar. The site aims to provide easy access to information for child and adult survivors of physical, sexual and psychological abuse on all aspects of this complex area of law. The site also aims to offer guidance on and understanding of the legal system of England and Wales for professionals working for survivors of abuse. By providing information on the legal rights available to the survivor of abuse in seeking compensation, an explanation of the civil and criminal court procedures and a guide to the Legal Aid system and Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, the site aims to offer a greater understanding of the workings of the Legal system.

  • Adlex Solicitors advise businesses on every aspect of trading online, website law and internet law. The firm was founded in 2001 by internet and domain name lawyer Adam Taylor, former partner and head of E-Commerce and Technology Group at City of London solicitor firm Withers. He is a Nominet and WIPO domain dispute panelist. The site includes information on the regulations which apply to business trading on the internet, the UK and EU data protection laws and regulations which apply to online privacy, Internet terms and conditions and web contracts, White label contracts and co-branding contract issues, web design legal and contract issues, website hosting legal issues and domain name disputes.

  • Bhatt Murphy is a firm specialising in human rights issues. They handle complex and serious cases against state agencies including the police, prison and immigration authorities. The site offers a series of "timelines" - these are histories of particular legal areas relating to police misconduct and prisoners rights, indicating the legislation, political initiatives, campaigns and case law of each area. There are timelines for Police Misconduct, Tariff Setting For Life Sentenced Prisoners, Deaths in Custody, Immigration Detention, Parole Hearings and the Prison Disciplinary System. There is also a very useful set of links to other bodies involved in these issues.

  • CrimeLine is a major legal resource for criminal lawyers. Written by Andrew Keogh, it is received by over 14,000 criminal lawyers, judges and academics each week. Each issue digests the latest cases from 35 sources, legislation and news. Important judgments are often emailed within minutes of being handed down. Cases are linked to Casetrack or Bailii for full text judgments. CrimeLine Complete is priced at £110+vat per user per year

  • Employment Law is covered in detail on the website of Ashby Cohen. The content for Employees provides a Guide to Principal Employment Law Topics with a special emphasis on Employment Law Rights and Obligations.

  • elexica is a free online legal resource from leading international law firm Simmons & Simmons. elexica offers registered users an extensive range of legal information including practical guides, checklists, current awareness articles, legislative updates, case reports, detailed legal analysis, training modules (with CPD hours), a current awareness email alerting service and an extensive library of categorised web links. All of elexica's content is provided by lawyers based in Simmons & Simmons international network of offices, and covers a variety of topics, jurisdictions and languages.

  • Jonny Law Online is a very useful site about property and property law maintained by Jonathan Achampong, a conveyancing solicitor with a major firm, Ashfords. There are sections on conveyancing, lease extensions, leasehold, enfranchisement and commercial property. There are also featured articles on news items and topics of current interest.

  • Law-Now, also known as CMS Law-Now, is the free online information service for businesses from CMS Cameron McKenna. The site, which covers both national and international legal topics, can be viewed online or taken as a personalised email service - there are around 30,000 subscribers to this service. All major legal areas are covered.

  • Lawyer.ie is a Guide to the Law in the Republic of Ireland provided by Roddy Tyrrell of Tyrrell solicitors as a resource for lay people to understand the law in Ireland. The site majors on personal injuries, family law and probate/wills but also covers consumer law, company law, taxation, employment, immmigration, insolvency and defamation.

  • Lasting Power of Atterney is provided by Solicitors Peacock & Co – when and why you might need to set one up and how this relates to your own mental capacity, the forms and processes involved to register it, how to terminate it if you change your mind, or how to add another attorney (you cannot – you have to start again), the role of the Court of Protection, and how a solicitor can make the whole process easier and more reliable.

  • Natalie Gamble Associates provide an impressive site on fertility law and parenting law in all its manifestations. Overall, the site includes legislation, including the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA), case law, useful links and 30,000 words of detailed written guidance on the law broken down for different situations. It has been designed as a free resource on this complex area of law, providing reliable information accessible to everyone. As well as having unrivalled information on this topic, the site uses attractive colours and photographs. The site includes a blog of current news and comment.

  • out-law.com is an extensive information site provided by Pinsent Masons. There are 10,000 pages of free legal news and guidance, mostly on IT and e-commerce issues, with many new items posted every day. There are also a large number of quite detailed "Guides" on technology and laws for the technology sector. About Cookies is another site set up by Pinsent Masons as a guide to deleting and controlling cookies and (for web site owners) assistance in staying the right side of the law

  • Mental Health Law Online is an internet resource on mental health law in England & Wales, primarily for mental health practitioners, to which anyone can contribute. The site has been set up by a mental health solicitor. The site covers case law, with regularly updated commentaries on the cases and links to the full text judgments on BAILII (around 800 categorised cases plus other BAILII links). There is also the full text of the Mental Health Act 1983, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and related legislation. There are also general articles to explain the concepts and terminology used in the field and practical guidance for lawyers. You can sign up for email updates.

  • MHHP Solicitors of Barnet, provide a very useful guide on How To Identify Grounds for a Professional Negligence Claim. This describes what a Professional Negligence Claim actually is, the kinds of professionals that can be claimed against (although not an exhaustive list), common resolution routes and details on how the process works, complete with commonly asked questions about funding a claim.

  • Wikivorce provides an interactive (and wiki-type) experience for those involved in, or considering, a divorce. As well as factual information, e.g. Divorce Guide and Divorce Calculator, there are blogs (several of the existing well known blogs are included), chat rooms and forums. In other words, it is a community based web site where other members of the community do most of the work! It seems to be very popular and already has 50,000 "members". There is also a bookstore and a "find a solicitor" section.

    If I have missed any significant legal resources provided by firms of solicitors, please email me! delia@venables.co.uk

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