UK legal portals

A Page on the Web, published in the Solicitors Journal, February 2001

The following are some of the better sites whose primary purpose is to facilitate access to resources on the internet for the UK lawyer.

Commercial sites

Access to Law

From Go Interactive and the Inner Temple Library, in association with Oyez Straker. Provides links to legal resources under subject categories, selected and annotated by the Inner Temple Library. Also acts as an ISP with free internet access.

Largely the same service is offered by Oyez Straker itself at

The main problem with the a2law site is it appears not to support Netscape 4 (wave goodbye to 14% of the market). A further irritation is that it is impossible to back out of this site as it employs an immediate redirect which bounces you forward again (as to this and other web design faults, see January 2000’s Page on the Web).

Connecting Legal

From Waterlow. Includes inter alia law directories, news, an indifferent links library and legal services directories. Also offers free internet access.

The range of online directories, based on its hard copy directories, are its strong suit; other services are affiliate arrangements with other sites. The home page is hugely cluttered and it is difficult to back out of the site as it employs an almost immediate redirect.

Delia Venables’ Legal Resources

This is a long-established, portal with links to just about every useful UK legal site, with separate front pages designed for individuals, companies, lawyers and students. All links are accompanied by helpful, often detailed, descriptions, or are referenced within commentary, and there are various additional features such as tutorials and ‘mystery tours’. Written in ‘vanilla’ html with low graphic content, the site avoids annoying gizmos and pages are consequently quick to load.


From Simmons & Simmons. Aimed at in-house lawyers and students. Includes checklists, legal updates and a links library on commercial topics.

Despite using multiple frames, this site is pleasing to view and navigate and is a good port of first call for the commercial lawyer.

FindLaw United Kingdom

A US legal search engine often cited as a useful resource for UK law (for which go directly to /12international/countries/uk/index.html), though I would not rate it. For the UK lawyer it is, however, useful for legal searches in other countries.

Hemscott Legal

Aimed at finance and investment lawyers, with data about companies, deals and disputes, links and a recruitment service.


This is the site I maintain, with comprehensive listings of web lawyers, carefully selected legal resources, civil and family procedure updates, a forms library and pre-configured legal searches, plus classified listings of goods and services for lawyers. All recent Pages on the Web are also accessible. Low in graphics and gadgets and of course commended to you.

Interactive Lawyer

From Centaur. Provides news, directories, business services and a recruitment service.

Centaur are publishers of The Lawyer newspaper and consequently the site’s news content is quite fullsome and its jobs service well-developed. It does, however, heavily promote Centaur’s ‘interactive’ subscription services and Lawtel. It is frustrating to access as pages take up to 30 seconds to load largely due to connections to download adverts for its products.

International Centre for Commercial Law

From Legalease. The premier commercial law portal, providing information from the Legal 500 series of directories, plus commercial law developments and news.


From Lawyers Information Services Ltd. Featuring news, magazine, links, resources, discussion forums and a jobs service.

A relative newcomer, Lawtalk benefits from its youth and enthusiasm and appears to be regularly updated and improved.


From Sift plc. News, directories, links, jobs and company data, plus other resources through affiliation to other sites.

LawZone is well-funded and clearly a main player. The site is updated constantly and its directory of lawyers one of the best.

Academic sites


From the Centre for Digital Library Research at Strathclyde University. A database of selected internet resources catalogued according to DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification).

Durham University’s Electronic Law Library

Provides a links library classified alphabetically, functionally and thematically.

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies’ eagle-i service

Presents a wide range of links classified by subject and other criteria.

National Centre for Legal Education’s Lawlinks

Links to help research teaching and learning resources, classified by subject, country and other criteria.

SOSIG Law Gateway

Part of the UK Resource Discovery Network, the Social Science Information Gateway aims to provide a trusted source of selected, high quality internet information for researchers and practitioners. This huge database identifies and evaluates legal resource sites offering primary and secondary materials and other items of legal interest. Descriptive records and links are created for legal service sites and specific documents.

University of Kent at Canterbury Library’s Lawlinks

An annotated list of web sites compiled by Sarah Carter, sensibly categorised. A long-standing and well-regarded site.