How the Yorkshire law firm LCF Law left a lasting impression on the virtual world

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When the internet was still emerging as a global communications system, one Yorkshire law firm was determined to leave an impression on the virtual world.

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LCF Law’s domain name is celebrating its 21st anniversary, making it one of the oldest legal domains in the region.

LCF Law registered www.lcf.co.uk in the summer of 1998, which was two months before www.google.co.uk was registered and the search engine giant was born. It would also be several years before domain names such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook arrived on the scene.

Simon Stell, managing partner at LCF Law, said: “In 1998 the internet was in its infancy, you needed a modem to connect to it and lots of patience.

“However as a forwarding thinking business, we could immediately see its potential and how it was going to be transformational for our industry. We started exploring how to capitalise on the online world and launched a website. We had to buy a domain name, so we went for www.lcf.co.uk because it was distinctive, straightforward and easy to remember.

“At the time, some people suggested that creating a website for a law firm was frivolous and insignificant. However, we were ahead of the curve, as very few regional or national legal firms took the initiative that early on. It quickly became one of our best ever investments and has attracted millions of visitors over the years, doing a great job to illustrate LCF Law’s foresight and innovative approach to exploring new technologies.”

He added: “Another thing that became apparent early on was how important it is to trade mark both company names and domain names, because it can be easy for unscrupulous operators to impersonate companies or brands using the internet. They can register a similar domain and create a genuine looking website to divert users away from the site they were aiming for and there are lots of examples of this happening.”

Abid Perwaze, commercial and intellectual property solicitor at LCF Law, added: “Having the right trade marks in place makes it much easier to stop anyone that tries to do this and also helps to protect company names and brands.”