The Welsh government has given £50,000 to a Welsh law firm to help it create a new UK-wide online legal service.

The government’s economic growth fund said today it is to invest in South Wales firm Watkins & Gunn to set up Gateway2Law, an eCommerce website offering a range of legal services online.

The product will create five new jobs and safeguard a further five at the firm’s headquarters in Pontypool, and will enhance the firm’s web presence and software to provide a personalised service with payment facilities.

The Welsh government has previously promoted the importance of the legal sector offering online digital services, and the investment is intended for the firm to extend its service throughout the UK.

Economy minister Edwina Hart (pictured) said: ‘The legal sector is undergoing substantial change and faces a number of challenges so it is encouraging seeing a law firm taking steps to adapt to these changes and creating new opportunities for growth.’

Watkins & Gunn managing partner Clive Thomas said he believed his was the first Welsh law firm to develop an online service for providing legal advice.

He added: ‘The provision of online legal services will help us grow our practice by enabling us to attract new clients, offer staff legal benefit schemes for companies and broaden our client base by competing for work nationally.’

The online service will cover all of the firm’s specialist areas – personal injury, family law, conveyancing, crime, private client (wills and probate) and employment.

The firm, which also has offices in Newport and Cardiff, employs 31 people.

Last month, personal injury firm NewLaw Solicitors said it was creating 86 new jobs at its Cardiff base with the help of £156,690 in business finance from the Welsh government.