Six months after they became available, distinctive web addresses ending .law are in use by only a handful of English law firms, research by the Gazette suggests.

The new ‘top level domain’ was one of a batch made available by the web’s governing body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, last autumn as an alternative to .com and It is intended to be used only by authorised professionals.

One early adopter is national firm DWF, which said that the new address is useful for international recognition. ‘We believe that early adoption of the .law domain puts us at the forefront of digital innovation as we continue to do things differently,’ said chief technology officer Richard Hodkinson. ‘The .law domain has global resonance.’

Another is Birmingham immigration, family, and landlord and tenant firm Janson. ‘We took it in the first week of going live,’ said principal  Zahid Ayub Khan. ‘It seems to be going well.’ He added that the domain was simpler than the old .co address.

The two were among five firms listed by UK web company Conscious Solutions, which offers registration of .law addresses. ‘Many others have registered the domain and are using it to redirect traffic,’ Derek Benton of consultancy Warwick Vine told the Gazette.