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Firm Launches World's Worst Web Site

Four Australian lawyers, hoping to make a mark for the new firm they've dubbed Marque, are claiming the mantle of having the world's worst Web site. Across the top of the site's front page, a banner declares: "NEWSFLASH: MARQUE Lawyers Launches World's Worst Website. This is a temporary site which we've put up  so you will stop calling us and demanding that we put up a website." Farther down on the page, they note the "bad" site is temporary: "Keep a look out for our extremely cool proper website coming soon."

As it so happens, I can claim to have written the book on the worst lawyer Web sites, so I feel a bit here like former Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Lloyd Bentsen when he told Sen. Dan Quayle during their 1988 debate, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Yes, I have seen the worst of what lawyers can put up in the name of a Web site, and this isn't it. It is indisputably, however, one of the most minimal, consisting of only the front page and a link to a PDF of a newspaper article about the new firm.

That article reveals that Marque is the firm formed by four defectors from the Sydney office of Gadens, including former Gadens managing partner Michael Bradley. Their goal is to create a firm, as Bradley describes it, where clients will not think "that engaging a lawyer [is] like visiting the dentist."

Bradley says Marque, which will provide commercial, intellectual property and workplace relations advice plus litigation, wanted to "change the conversation" with clients by more closely examining their commercial imperatives and financial constraints, and better managing their risks.

Translated from Australian, that means the firm will avoid billing by the hour and instead employ fixed-fee and outcome-based billing arrangements. "You get sick of clients not liking you and feeling about us the same way they feel about their dentist," Bradley says. "That is not enjoyable." It certainly appears as if Marque is out to shake up the established law-firm model. If so, then by launching the world's worst Web site, it is off to a good start.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 8, 2008 at 01:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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