Bakers Solicitors are a forward-thinking, tech-savvy Personal Injury and Accident Claim law firm based in Aldershot, Hampshire. In order to keep their competitive edge, and stay ahead of the increasing pressure on the Personal Injury sector, the firm decided to look at the efficiency of their working practices, and effectiveness of document production back in 2014. BigHand Speech Recognition was the obvious tool to help enable the changes needed for the firm to adapt to the strains placed on the Personal Injury practice area.
After Bakers acquired a new firm, it became apparent that the legal secretaries work had become solely based on location, causing backlogs of work to build up, as secretaries could only pick up tasks from the fee earners in their office. Ross Carr, Solicitor and Practice Manager at Bakers explains, “I realised that our document turnaround times could be improved. It was often taking days for a dictation to be returned to a fee earner. Backlogs of low-priority typing tasks, like attendance and file notes would build up and there was no way of prioritising this work. I am always open to seeing how new technologies can improve our business processes and efficiency, and was excited to see how BigHand Speech Recognition could help our firm.”
The benefits were clear straight away. Having the ability to automate the transcription of dictations meant that fee earners could be more self-sufficient, and no longer have to delay urgent document creation. Secretaries could also remove the burden of producing low-value notes, and focus their time on higher-value work. Ross continues, “The software’s ease of use helped to gain the internal buy-in we sought, along with the very high accuracy levels. I was pleased to see the very first dictation I sent through BigHand Speech Recognition, during the training process, came back flawless!”
Bakers later decided to split their entity and put a portion of the firm on the market. By the time the acquisition went through, the remaining secretaries had either been progressed to other areas of the business to work in case handling roles, or had moved through natural attrition, with Bakers no longer needing to replace these roles. Instead, the firm looked to invest in a paralegal division that saw the recruitment of newly graduated law students. Ross explains, “We wanted a way to invest in the future of the firm and in our current experienced fee earners. The new paralegals would have the chance to support and learn from the senior lawyers, whilst building their own cases, and future career. We identified this shift as a key way to win in an increasingly competitive market.”
Fast forward to the current day, and the fee earners now have the tools available to be totally self-sufficient and to turn client work around same-day. “One of the great benefits of this project is that we have changed our service offering to include cutting-edge technology which will attract and retain new lawyers who are used to having technology available at their fingertips,” says Ross.
The firm no longer needs to send dictations to the ‘My Secretary’ workflow, instead only utilising the speech recognition options. Ross concludes, “The flexibility and time-savings that BigHand Speech Recognition has provided our fee earners with is fantastic. Having to only wait a few minutes for their dictations to be returned means it’s much easier to complete work to the highest standards without getting distracted between tasks. It makes managing workloads much easier and has ultimately improved our turnaround times no end. We needed a way to keep abreast of industry changes and increasing client demands, and BigHand has been the vehicle to help us reach these business goals.”