Baker McKenzie has recently launched an online legal service, this one with a bit of a twist. 

Lawyers Weekly reports (4 April 2008) that “BAKER & MCKENZIE’S global climate change practice last week launched the CDM Rulebook website – a freely available, comprehensive online database of the rules relating to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol.”

The CDM Rulebook is “the definitive online database of the CDM rules.” There is no hardcopy version because of green concerns and frequent updates; a separate page on the site suggests how to cite it. The site is elegantly designed, with multiple useful navigation features and extensive hyperlinking. It strikes me as an excellent paradigm for presenting other complex legal material on the web.

The twist is that “Baker & McKenzie has developed the CDM Rulebook with funding from eight donor organisations,” including the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Swedish Energy Agency, the Australian Department of Climate Change, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank.

Ten years ago when I worked for Jnana developing interactive legal advisory systems and the business models to support them, I did not consider the idea of not-for-profit funding. So it is interesting to see that a large law firm was able to take a creative approach to building a content-rich system

[Unrelated to above but to online services: See my 10 May 2008 “Roundup” post re the The Online Compliance Consortium, ” to help establish best practice and standards for larger law firms in the arena of compliance and specifically compliance training.”]