By Legal Futures Associate Advanced
About Four Brick Court Chambers
Four Brick Court is a long-established set of family law barristers based at the Temple, in London. Their focus is family law for which they offer specialist Counsel, providing a wide range of experience in acting for all sides in public law, private law, and financial remedy proceedings.
With casework that includes some of the most serious and medically complex cases before the family courts, Four Brick Court is fully committed to a strong child welfare approach.
This Chambers has been using MLC as their central work platform for 20+ years. Clive Barrett, former Senior Clerk, and now Finance and Operations Manager, spoke to us about how their experience with MLC has evolved over the years.
Their Advanced experience
Four Brick Court didn’t have a promising start with MLC. Initially, there were issues surrounding data migration, helpdesk response, and performance issues. Clive told us how they overcome these barriers to transform the software into a much-valued platform:
“A lot of our issues were our own fault as we started out using the basic functionality of MLC and weren’t using it to its full capability. That caused some dissatisfaction in chambers, but I liked how the system worked and understood the potential of what we could achieve if we invested some time.”
“To help us overcome the barriers we had, Advanced offered us a Senior Training Consultant who was formerly a clerk. Her knowledge of how chambers actually work was invaluable to us as she was able to understand any issues from our point of view. She jumped right in and arranged a series of training sessions, pushing me to think more analytically about what we actually needed MLC to do. Working together, we’ve changed a discouraging situation into a very positive experience for everyone.”
Automated time savings
“By taking the time to understand what MLC can do, we’ve saved a lot of time by automating more and more processes. One example is for the Local Authority procurement work we do. It’s crucial for them that we provide schedules – which was a long, cumbersome process that took two hours to complete. Now, we’ve built a report that automatically picks the data from MLC’s planners – it just takes a couple of minutes to run at month end.”
Improved access to information
“Now that I’m working in finance, I was keen to improve the visibility of our progress. We’ve examined, and improved, our billing cycles and now track our financial performance continually, instead of just waiting for the end of the year. This means we are always aware of our situation and can take a more strategic approach.”
“MLC’s detailed opportunity reports are also very helpful – they provide all the information we need, including assigned barristers, attended hearings and conferences, and the value of completed work. The gains in reporting have been significant and we’re seeing continual improvement in the way we access, and use, information. Our progress has been immense.”
“The MLC diaries are superb. We appreciate how the functionality keeps us on top of day-to-day planning and the simplicity of the way they work to connect everything together.”
They really listen to us and are very proactive. Our training consultant has been invaluable in making us think outside the box, helping us to automate time consuming tasks that we wouldn’t have thought about previously. In future, I’m sure we’ll continue to innovate together.
I would recommend further training to any chambers using MLC. It will definitely help them get the very best from their system.
How’s support now?
Our communication with MLC’s helpdesk has also come on leaps and bounds. They’re very knowledgeable, and we get the answers we need, when we need them. Whenever I speak to someone from Advanced, it feels like we’re working together.
Digital work tools are expanding all of the time, so I’m interested in exploring MLC Mobile. Although we are already set up to work from home, I believe it has additional functionality that will be of real value to our chambers.