Congratulations to IRIS Legal for being the only vendor to send us a story that legitimately involves the recent Icelandic volcano's eruption and its clouds of ash…

As on Monday this week, Mike Sayers, Chambers Director of IRIS Hosted barristers set Park Lane Plowden, was still stranded in the Canaries: “I’ve been on holiday here in the Canary Isles since 14th April and was due to return on 21st April. Obviously this didn’t happen as a result of the volcanic ash cloud causing all inbound flights to the UK to be cancelled. Although airlines have now resumed normal operations, I’m still stranded on the island as they clear their backlog of passengers. As yet, I have no firm date of arrival back home because Thomson Holidays have 1600 people stuck on this island alone.

“As Chambers Director, my role is integral to the running of chambers, so I’ve been accessing our systems remotely via the IRIS Hosted Service which we’ve been using since 2007. The ability to resume working during what would normally be very disruptive circumstances has meant our service provision to clients has continued unaffected in my physical absence. Although you always hope that you’re never personally afflicted by disaster in the workplace, it’s something you can’t accurately predict, however you can plan for it with IRIS Hosted Services. Because of the current situation, our investment has been worth every penny and I’d strongly recommend it to other chambers.”

Another IRIS Hosted user, Stephen Ward, Managing Director at Clerksroom, was delayed in India: “IRIS Hosted system was a godsend (that is opposed to an act of god!) during the recent Volcano eruption because I was stuck in Goa, India. The key benefit to me was having my outlook contacts all remotely hosted within the system so I could access all my professional and personal contacts quickly. Using the hosted system for 3 weeks on a 24/7 basis came to a total of £30 in data charges through the hotel’s wi-fi system, which is significantly cheaper than using mobile data or making calls to get work sorted. I had a key deadline to meet one Monday morning which was in danger of being disrupted due to the airline delay. As it turned out, I sat by the pool in the sun and did manage to get the tender submitted on time, without anyone needing to know I was delayed. One thing you cannot stop in India is the constant power cuts which did make it a little more problematic than normal, but the system worked and all was well.”