However well you know the law, a skeleton argument in a trademark opposition looks a bit naked without some authority. Sometimes of course, you need to check your facts and the way the wind is blowing on a patentability issue. Therefore, even for the solo practitioner having access to a legal library is important.
Free resources are always best and I have just discovered some excellent English law stuff that is appearing on the website of Insite Law Magazine. Particularly valuable are the Contract materials, because they are not well covered in other IP-focused resources.
For those of you who are subscribed to our Westlaw IP package, we have a renewal coming up in November so I am looking for any feedback from users. The subscription is for UK-based sole practitioner's (sorry not counsel) and currently includes books (including the CIPA Black Book) cases and magazines on UK and European IP law. If there are other resources on http://www.westlaw.co.uk/cases/index.shtm or http://www.lawtel.com/ that you are prepared to PAY for let me know and we will see what can be negotiated. Having a professional structured interface to access legal materials does represent a significant improvement over bare Internet access to cases.
However for the truly credit- crunched here are some more favourite FREE links
BAILII British and Irish Legal Information Institute decisions of English courts and Nominet
CURIA European Court of Justice and Court of First Instance cases
EPO EPO Board of Appeal Decisions database