Fee Earners and Support Staff at law firm Cooper Wilkinson are reaping the benefits from the firm’s recent investment in best-in-class technology.
Forward-thinking law firm, Cooper Wilkinson Limited, has been established for over 100 years and is based in rural Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. With a head count of 17, they specialise in multiple practices including Conveyancing, Probate and Litigation and have been using BigHand Digital Dictation since 2007.
As part of a larger investment in best-in-class technology, the firm decided to explore the option of Speech Recognition as a way to streamline processes and work more efficiently. Already a BigHand Digital Dictation customer, and being pleased with the product and service to date, they chose to roll out both BigHand Speech Recognition and upgrade to BigHand’s newest version (‘The Hub’) which brings with it many new features available within the Speech Recognition module.
The project implementation went to plan and after just 1 month, the firm were already experiencing impressive results. Tom Beatty, Practice Manager at Cooper Wilkinson comments, ‘BigHand Speech Recognition has dramatically reduced our turnaround times, which means our clients are experiencing a quicker service from us. The BigHand analytics report has revealed that in total, after just 1 month, our Fee Earners as a whole are sending 57% of their dictations through BigHand Speech Recognition – reducing the transcription time by over half. We even have one Solicitor already sending 96% of her dictations through BigHand Speech Recognition.’
As part of the BigHand Speech Recognition adoption, the firm adjusted its internal support team structure to have one pool of secretaries working across all dictations. This speeds up the rate at which work is turned around and more importantly minimises any backlogs of work that may occur due to illness or holiday. Tom continues, ‘By having one pool of secretaries, and using The Hub, the visibility of the progress of dictations has greatly improved. Functionality such as being able to view tasks by specific author and filter tasks by due-by date has helped our secretaries prioritise workloads. Our secretaries have appreciated being able to tweak the functionality to their needs, and also find the karaoke play-back, and format editing of text within BigHand particularly helpful.’
The intention of rolling BigHand Speech Recognition out was never to reduce the headcount of the Cooper Wilkinson support team. Tom explains, “BigHand Speech Recognition was introduced with the intention of enabling our support team to get involved in higher-value tasks. It was however a welcome surprise when we discovered that due to the time saved by using BigHand Speech Recognition, our current staff now had enough resource between them to cover for a staff member who went on Maternity leave.’
Looking to the future, Cooper Wilkinson will continue to invest in new technology by upgrading its case management system, and increasing the usage of BigHand Go to mobilise its Fee Earners to send through dictations from any location.