The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn is one of the four Inns of Court and operates as an active and thriving society of lawyers, sprawling across 11 acres in central London and dating as far back as 1422. The title of “Lincoln’s Inn” refers both to the Society and the location, which houses the Society’s own facilities, numerous barristers’ chambers and several solicitors’ offices.
The Inns of Court originally provided accommodation for law students who learned their craft by attending court. Today, the Inns exist to aid students in pursuing the legal profession and serve as landlord, custodian of historic buildings, banqueting and events venue and tourist attraction.
To fulfill these many functions, Lincoln’s Inn required security that would meet its own high standards while protecting buildings that had been in continuous operation for centuries. As the Inn not only provides services to law students, but also operates as an attraction and a hosting venue, many different levels of security need to be in place for a variety of users—full-time employees, temporary contractors, event staff, students and others. For this reason, it was essential that Lincoln’s Inn have a comprehensive system to track and monitor the many keys for the extensive venue.
For some time, keys at Lincoln’s Inn were managed manually through an analogue system, with staff retrieving keys from an open cabinet and recording key usage with pen and paper. However, because at times manual recordkeeping can be less than diligent, this allowed for confusion as to who had what keys when and made it possible for keys to be stashed away or used by unauthorised persons. With the variety and quantity of people moving throughout Lincoln’s Inn on any given day, a more secure solution was needed. To update and improve key control, Chief Porter, Nicolas Bracey turned to the KeyWatcher Touch key control system by Morse Watchmans.
“KeyWatcher Touch provides us with a fully secure means of key storage and management. We considered a number of products on the market and found the Morse Watchmans solution to be the most flexible and easy to use system,” said Mr. Bracey. “The high quality and ease of scalability were two of the top features we required and the KeyWatcher Touch was a perfect fit for our key control needs.”
Lincoln’s Inn installed two KeyWatcher Touch units configured for a total of 192 keys or keyrings in January 2016 and the system has been in daily use since the installation. It utilises the Inn’s IT network and is fully integrated with the PCs in the security office and the office of the Chief Porter in order to provide maximum flexibility and ease of use. Tracking keys as they were removed and returned was a top concern, so the ability of the KeyWatcher to record who has removed what key and when was exceptionally important.
“The keys are always secure, rather than being openly accessible to staff. There is no longer paperwork to be managed for logging, it is all taken care of with the KeyWatcher software,” continued Mr. Bracey. “Audits and reports are fast and accurate and it has led to our staff becoming more responsible overall.”
KeyWatcher Touch has provided Lincoln’s Inn with the functionality and security it requires to easily manage its 192 keys, while also providing an easily accessible audit trail. In addition, the system has proven hardy and resilient in daily use over two years.
“We have had continuity with Morse Watchmans since day one,” finished Mr. Bracey. “Demonstrations of function, installation and training were all handled almost entirely by the same representative, in addition to subsequent orders. The continuously exceptional service has ensured that we were getting exactly the product that would best serve Lincoln’s Inn and provide us with the security we need.”