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The group, which was set up by Drummond Read Associates, the antiques loss valuers and litigation specialists, after the success of their February conference on Web trade at the Southampton Institute, has presently been limited to existing members for practical purposes, but will be sharing details of their progress with interested parties, as well as inviting non-members to take part in discussion groups.

Meetings will take place every two months, and the group will first set about identifying a wide range of reliable information sources to help it gather up-to-date information on all aspects of trading on the Web, including buying and selling trends, client and customer demands and technology and legal developments. Information will then be disseminated to the trade.

Apart from Drummond Read, who will co-ordinate the group for the next 12 months, members include a variety of businesses: sothebys.com, ibidlive, icollector, QXL.com, Safe-On-Line, the law firm Berrymans and the Antiques Trade Gazette.

Future roles for the group, once it has expanded and taken on a more formal shape, may include acting as a lobbying organisation and helping to build public confidence in the trade’s Web business.