E-commerce and legal practice in Scotland: a benchmark survey

Barton, Karen and Duncan, P. and Ruiz-Nieto, L-M and McKellar, Patricia (2000) E-commerce and legal practice in Scotland: a benchmark survey. Journal of Information, Law and Technology, 2000 (2). ISSN 1361-4169

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As predicted by Susskind the Web is becoming an important vehicle for marketing the legal practice and a tool enabling the delivery of legal services to clients. To what extent can law firms benefit from selling their services through this medium? Despite the growth of the Web, there is little research concerning the functionality and strategic business use of Web sites within the area of the provision of legal services. This paper produces a unique and comprehensive benchmark survey of eighty-three Web sites offered by Scottish legal practices. It assesses the Web sites according to two criteria, firstly, James Ho's Matrix based on customers perception of value-added benefits and secondly, the Five Quadrants Evaluation Criteria (5-QEC) developed by the authors, which examined the sites under five headings: Ideas & Content, Organisation, Language & Conventions, Presentation and Technical. The results of the survey assess whether or not Scottish solicitors are taking the opportunity to pursue an e-commerce strategy and trade via the Web, or alternatively focus on the provision of information.