REGIONAL law firm Ashton KCJ Solicitors has won the LawNet 2012 award for best website, just five months after the site was launched.

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The website was particularly commended by the judges for ease of navigation by users and up-to-date content.

LawNet is a national network of more than 60 independent law firms who are committed to rigorous quality standards and best practice. The LawNet awards are judged not by lawyers but by relevant external specialists, with the website award this year being judged by marketing practitioners with a national reputation in the legal sector.

The LawNet 2012 award winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, where Ashton KCJ also received a “highly commended” for its submission for the Excellence in Risk Management and Compliance category.

The website – www.ashtonkcj.co.uk – was launched in July this year and was built to replace an interim site which was put in place following the firm’s creation through the merger of Ashton Graham and Kester Cunningham John in October 2011.

Vicki Clover, communications manager at Ashton KCJ, worked closely with Norwich-based web design agency, NetMatters to launch the site.

The website has been built to ensure an excellent user experience, with improved navigation, regularly updated content and ensuring that the site is as interactive as possible, through the use of online enquiry forms, event bookings and payments, questionnaires, photos and videos.

Three separate sites are accessible from the main website, including an online conveyancing tracking service. A mobile version of the site was also developed, recognising that more and more people browse the web via mobile devises.

The award also recognised that the website had been designed with search engines in mind. Ashton KCJ worked with a local Ipswich-based firm iMarketing to maximise its Search Engine Optimisation and also increased its presence on social media channels to support this work.

Ashton KCJ chief executive Simon Smith said: “Congratulations to the business development team and to the staff who have supported them with this initiative. Well done also to our risk and compliance team for their tireless work.

“These achievements, together with our recent successes in the Legal 500 and Chambers rankings, demonstrate our commitment to excellence and the positive direction in which the firm is moving, just over a year on from our merger.”

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