Part 2 looks at practical ways to work online

The Bar Council has produced general guidance on Internet issues. In brief, chambers’ and individual barristers’ websites should explain: (i) legal status of chambers; (ii) fact that services covered are provided by members of chambers as individuals; (iii) if any page accessed through the web includes any articles, case notes or other legal information, as opposed to merely business information such as is found in legal services directories, then it should include a disclaimer. 

Linked websites—if websites are accessed through a link (eg from a solicitors’ website) care should be taken to ensure that liability to that site visitor is not created. Be aware of referral/introduction fee implications. The e-commerce regulations and the Data Protection Act 1998 also apply.

Guidance on email issues will also be relevant. See the complete guidance in The Bar Handbook 2008, ss 3.285—3.293.

Case Study Example

The old 187 Fleet Street website was like many chambers’ websites, ie uninspiring, out of date and difficult to find. It had a Google page rank of 1 (Google classification of importance of a site) so was not high in search engines. The absence of site statistics made meaningful data of the sites successes, and failures, difficult to obtain.

The new website,, was designed and built by Fourleaf in July 2008. It is designed to provide user friendly access to both professional and lay clients alike. Since the launch:

  • Internet traffic has steadily increased from an estimated 5,000 to just under 20,000 page views per month. Most members of chambers achieve a first place ranking in Google so they each gain more visibility.
  • The time visitors spend on the site has increased by 44% and the number of page views per visitor is up about 200%.
  • The site content is kept up to date by a full content management system. This can be updated internally thereby keeping running costs to a minimum.

Emma Gluckstein, Chambers Administrator, who commissioned the site, said: “One of the major advantages is the fact that the profiles of the members of Chambers can be changed instantly and very simply without (me having) any specialist IT knowledge.”