Remember the devastating underground fire in Holborn back in April that led to thousands of barristers being evacuated from Chambers?

Well, despite the damage to property and an estimated £40 million of lost revenue, many were able to keep working… thanks to the cloud.


‘Apocalyptic Scenes’


Almost 5000 barristers and legal staff were evacuated from chambers in Holborn on 1st April 2015, as an underground fire blazed below them. Newspapers described ‘apocalyptic scenes’ as a fire raged below deserted streets and smoke and flames billowed from open manhole covers. A ruptured eight-inch gas main caused by a ‘fault in the Victorian tunnels’ sparked the blaze that lasted 36 hours and deprived thousands of properties of gas and electricity supplies.


“This technically difficult fire shows just how complex London can be and how unseen risks underneath the capital can significantly affect businesses, residents and the day-to-day running of parts of the capital.”

Ron Dobson, London Fire Commissioner


Cloud to the Rescue!


A 36-hour closure would hit any business hard, but especially a legal chambers, who struggle to fit rising workloads in on a good day! London’s Chamber of Commerce estimated around £40 million was lost in revenue as a result of the blaze.

Thanks to the cloud, though, barristers were able to work remotely during the Chambers downtime, minimising the impact of the blaze on their work. Barristers could relocate elsewhere, with minimum operational downtime. That they could adapt so quickly to such an unexpected and potentially disruptive event is testament to the fluidity and productivity offered by cloud storage.


“Obviously the incident caused massive disruption for many, [but] thanks to Advanced’s hosted solution we were able to minimise its impact” 

 Martin Parker, Senior Clerk, Mansfield Chambers

 “Incidents like this will always be unexpected but you can be prepared for them. Our barristers were able to quickly relocate and continue their work without any issues.”

Chris O’Brien, Clerk, 4 Stone Buildings

Business continuity is essential, and a major incidents like the Holborn fire are a stark reminder to barristers’ chambers of how important it is to be able to deliver the services and support that you promise your clients, no matter what. The cloud can offer this continuity. Hosting services in the cloud, whether it’s a full hosting, or just a disaster recovery back-up plan can minimise the impact of sudden outages.

Are you prepared for unexpected events like the Holborn Fire? We can help you to move your main Chambers operations over to the cloud in a secure and efficient way. Get in touch today to find out more!