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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 September 2015

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2015. Published by British and Irish Association of Law Librarians 


We begin the autumn issue by publishing the Willi Steiner Memorial Lecture. This is the fifth lecture in this distinguished series which was established in 2004 in memory of Willi Steiner, an eminent law librarian of national and international prominence. Willi was librarian at the Squire Law Library at the University of Cambridge (1959–1968) and at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (1968–1982). He was also a founder member of BIALL, was the Honorary President of the association from 1985 until 1988 and, among many achievements, he was editor of the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals. I recall Willi Steiner during his retirement years. He never lost his enthusiasm for law librarianship and for the legal profession. This lecture series continues to reflect his interests and honours his dedication to the legal information world. This year the lecture was delivered by Professor Stephen Mayson on the subject of, ‘Commercial and regulatory evolution of legal services: implications for the information professional’. I am extremely grateful to Professor Mayson for his willingness to publish with us and for his prompt submission following the BIALL Conference where this lecture took place in June 2015.


Appropriately, following on from the above lecture, the theme for this LIM is a focus on law firm library issues. We begin with a look at space management and the challenges that this thorny issue sometimes brings to law librarians. Dunstan Speight, Chair of the LIM Board and Library Manager at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, brings a law firm perspective to the issues that concern all in the profession regardless of the sector we work in. Mark Pexton, of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, examines some current trends in the use of collection development policies among law firm libraries. Loyita Worley of Reed Smith focuses on branding and the promotion opportunities for libraries in law firms, while Allie Lustigman of The Standard P&I Club contributes a piece on the process of creating a knowledge business strategy. Rachel Brett, a colleague of Dunstan Speight, writes an invaluable piece about searching international company registries online.


In our ‘International perspectives’ category we welcome a piece by Priya Rai and her colleague Akash of the Justice T. P. S. Chawla Library at National Law University Delhi. The focus of this article is the ‘Free Access to Law Movement’ and how it has been implemented in India. Priya Rai recently held the Visiting Fellowship in Law Librarianship at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London.


Three papers make up the ‘Current Issues’ section. First we hear from Claire Greening who addresses a subject that has been keenly debated for sometime – namely, the preference of hard copy versus online. Paul Magrath, of the Incorporated Council of England and Wales, looks at the issues surrounding the custodianship of those public legal documents, such as court judgments, which form primary sources of law but which may also contain private data, and looks at the way custodians of such data can also act as gatekeepers, enhancing or inhibiting access by the public as well as more specialised users. Finally, for this issue of LIM, we have an article concerning FOI. Calum Liddle and David McMenemy provide a comparison of the cost exemption in the freedom of information regimes of the UK and Scotland.


As usual grateful thanks go to Katherine Read and Laura Griffiths of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies for the current awareness section.


As always, as editor of LIM I am very grateful to all contributors to this issue of LIM. Moreover, thanks also go to our colleagues at Cambridge University Press, especially Sue Perkins and Hannah Patrick, and to all the members of the LIM Editorial Board including the Chair of that committee, Dunstan Speight and the team of proofreaders.