Liz Hawkes My Favourite Tipples from a Global Law Firm Research Specialist
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By Liz Hawkes

Abstract

Liz Hawkes manages a research team for a global law firm and provides us with a list of her favourite tipples, both those she uses for client work as well as a personal favourite: the Invisible Woman blog from the Guardian, dedicated to style and tips for ladies over 40. In a professional context Liz chooses sites covering marine shipping, hard-to-find overseas company registration information, old government documents and one which will automatically monitor webpage updates so you know, for example, when progress has been made on cases or legislative documents.

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Running a research team for a global law firm brings a fresh challenge every day, from requests for assistance with client work that spans over several weeks to urgent queries that have to be done in say, oh, the next five minutes. Add in to that mix current awareness work, updates, monitoring, news alerts and training programmes for trainees, summer students, interns, plus inductions for new starters and it makes for a busy and varied working day. Here are my favourite tipples that are currently helping me through.

  • Marine Traffic: Some of the work for our shipping group involves tracking vessels, which we mostly do from commercial databases. This site, though, will show you ship positions at any time, anywhere in the world. I was once even able to locate a couple of barges on inland waterways in the Netherlands. Brings out my inner ship-spotting schoolboy self!

  • Worldwide Registries: More often than not our company research involves companies which are set up offshore and in locations favoured for ship registries. We may just need a registered office address, or we may have to try and prove a relationship between companies. Where to begin? This list of overseas registries from Companies House is a great starting point.

  • Wayback Machine: Lawyers often need to consult older official documents and I don't know if this is just me, but I'm finding these more difficult to locate on gov.uk. Have old consultation papers just dropped into a big black hole? One solution that works is to use the Wayback Machine to get to former departmental pages to pick up past papers.

  • WatchThatPage: We do a lot of monitoring, tracking progress of cases, news of when legislation might come into force and don't always have the luxury of staff checking websites daily. I'm always on the look out for software that can do this job for me, and this is one service I'm currently testing.

  • Invisible Woman: My Wednesdays would not be complete without a read of the Invisible Woman blog. We all know middle-aged women would make great thieves or spies because of their invisibility but this writer is encouraging us to develop our own sense of style, regardless of what's currently in the high street. Feisty and very personal, this is my over-the-hump treat.

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