Ashling Oertzen, Barrister
I was very lucky as I came to the Bar just before Briefed was launched, as I really don't know how I would have run my practice without it, it would have been a minefield!
I had observed my Master and many other more senior barristers operate very busy practices with countless briefs so I knew how having a good system right from the start would prove an advantage.
Initially I did not know how I was going to organise my practice, so I attended a Briefed workshop to find out some more. Once I saw how easy it was to use, and how it took care of everything I needed I signed up straightaway. Although I had only managed without it for a few months, I knew that I did not want to have to do without it.
Before using Briefed, solicitors would have sent me paper briefs which we all know can be a nightmare from a data protection perspective. So I thereafter asked for electronic briefs, so I could save them to Briefed and work on them from my iPad. From an organisational point of view this was a godsend, it gave be much greater flexibility in where and when I could work, and I didn't have to worry about data security risks.
I'm not technically minded so I was a somewhat daunted at the thought of using software but really it wasn't as bad as I predicted, I got some initial training from the Briefed team and if I had queries I just asked for help which was forthcoming immediately. It has been wonderful having access to such a personal service with the CEO even giving me her mobile number should I need help out of hours. If I had a tip I would say create a few fake cases and play around with the system was the best way to learn, it's so easy to use and self explanatory. It helps greatly that its very barrister specific, and it soon becomes clear it has been designed from a barrister perspective.
I save a huge amount of time and for people like me who are very organised and hate mess it is perfect. I can run my practice smoothly and on the go which is so so important in this day and age.
I have peace of mind that that I know where everything is and issuing fee notes is now so much easier. It's a few clicks of the button! I have had great value from being able to record my expenses and payments for my accountant which makes end of year tax returns so easy.
I really enjoy using the system, it makes being a barrister a lot easier as it saves a lot of time - I can just record things as I go along from my phone and don't even have to log in to a computer. I'm delighted to see how successful it has been and can't wait to see it develop over time.