Taylor Wessing collaboration with BigHand Go produces better flexibility and productivity


Top 20 law firm Taylor Wessing has an ever-growing profile and turnover, but with the help of BigHand the firm is scaling while staying true to its philosophy of 'people first in achieving success for clients and employees.'

Elliot White’s strategic IT role as Business Relationship Manager is deeply connected to this philosophy – his goal, he says, is to “help our lawyers get the most out of IT.” White needs to understand exactly what the firm’s lawyers are doing, how they are working, what their challenges and pressures are – and then turn that knowledge into “processes and technologies and software to help them work better."

White was keeping a close eye on where the technology was going, specifically with regards to mobility. Mobile adaptability holds great potential benefits for Taylor Wessing and its people.

We were keen to explore the opportunity that mobile would bring, but our existing DD technology wasn’t moving in the right direction. We also needed our technology upgrades to be easier, simpler and quicker.

Which led him to BigHand - specifically, BigHand Go. Read more about his journey with BigHand below.


Dictation on the move supporting client needs

Top 20 law firm Taylor Wessing has an ever-growing profile and turnover, but with the help of BigHand the firm is scaling while staying true to its philosophy of people first in achieving success for clients and employees’.

Elliot White’s strategic IT role as Business Relationship Manager is deeply connected to this philosophy – his goal, he says, is to “help our lawyers get the most out of IT”. White needs to understand exactly what the firm’s lawyers are doing, how they are working, what their challenges and pressures are – and then turn that knowledge into “processes and technologies and software to help them work better”.

I find out a lot of things over coffee with an associate or an informal catch-up with a partner. It’s those conversations that really bring evolution and innovation, and improving efficiency is generally at the center of them. Lawyers make our business, so improving their efficiency is a continuous focus.

Having previously used a different Digital Dictation (DD) provider for some years, White was keeping a close eye on where the technology was going, specifically around mobility as that holds great potential benefits for the firm and its people. “We were keen to explore the opportunity that mobile would bring, but our existing DD technology wasn’t moving in the right direction. We also needed our technology upgrades to be easier, simpler and quicker.”

BigHand’s solution

White therefore picked BigHand in 2012 to drive some Dictation innovation into Taylor Wessing, starting with a pilot program for 30 mobility users. “During the pilot we tracked Dictation volumes from source analysis, to see if heavy Dictation users were still using it – and the majority loved the fact they could Dictate from anywhere.” The roll out was pain-free, he says. “We didn’t have to swap devices, and the software is self-explanatory so no retraining. BigHand created a credit card-sized help sheet and that was enough – we just let them go.”

From rolling out to Associates and Partners, now everyone has access to the BigHand Go service – in fact, it’s the default. “It was on Blackberrys back then, but we knew in advance that BigHand could accommodate a real breadth of operating systems, and we want everyone to have choice.

“People have to be away from the office for many reasons, work and personal. Being able to work in a variety of ways usually means increased efficiency, providing the tools to work, no matter where you are, is part of that.” Dictation can be difficult if you’re doing it directly through a VPN, says White, so there were “huge efficiencies” using the BigHand app instead.

“We now have 230 users on the BigHand Go platform – that’s more than half the firm, and growing all the time.” The plan, he explains, is to have every Taylor Wessing lawyer using it, including trainees. “New starters just choose their OS preference – Android, Apple or Microsoft – but it’s the same app for everyone. Even in the office, they can use it over WiFi and everything is submitted straight to server.”

Cost savings and improved productivity

The saving the firm has made in reducing Dictation hardware alone has been a big benefit. “It’s a massive difference, and helps our bottom line a great deal. We’re not really buying Dictation hardware any more. If existing stuff breaks, we replace it with a mobile. This must be an industry trend – and if you have the ability to save money you should.”

White says that using BigHand technology means more billable hours can be effectively captured. “Being able to instantly submit Dictation will, of course, increase productivity,” he says, “but also the time lawyers are spending is the best possible time for work quality, because they are Dictating straight away. We all know that it is far better to get something down straight away.”

After a client meeting, in the taxi for example, they can Dictate and, when they get back to the office, documents are there for review. “It’s time well spent for the client and firm.”

The firm uses in-house secretaries but it has recently made significant changes to increase efficiencies by creating a shared secretarial service desk, BigHand enabled us to create a separate workflow to incorporate this.

“Jobs are sent to the shared desk for a quick turnaround, or to a specific secretary if needed,” says White. Fee Earners can submit from anywhere to any secretary, he adds, “so our secretaries are utilized across the firm and lawyers can choose”.

Lawyers can see live updates on Dictation now, and know who is working on dictation at any time – they have total visibility of the process. “This sounds like a simple thing, but it’s very important. Being able to keep track of Dictation from anywhere, anytime, is such a big plus. The answer to ‘Where is my Dictation?’ hasn’t been available here before. Lawyers can now better manage and meet client expectations.”

This also helps in managing the secretarial service desk. “We know how much work is coming through, and we can see whether our lawyers understand the service and make sure they utilize services best. We can also correlate data to see if there are common trends in what’s happening with Dictation.”

White is keen to reiterate that neither he nor the firm forces technology on people, because that doesn’t engender real use. “Giving people choice means their habits really change. You can’t expect everything to work for everyone, so we start by working on the areas it can really help and grow from there.” White says that BigHand Go will benefit many of the firm’s Fee Earners. “They will be able to review documents from anywhere, and Dictate on to them. They can even scan copies of documents using their iPad and move them on in the workflow. It may seem like only a slightly different way of working, but it will be very helpful.”

A powerful toolkit increasing the scope for more innovation

Perhaps one of the reasons that White’s been able to innovate is the firm’s ‘innovation fund’. This lets people like him “try new things”, he says. The next move for Taylor Wessing is BigHand server-side Speech Recognition, with the ability to submit audio remotely from a smartphone or tablet and have specific types of documents created as a quick first draft.

“I think BigHand Speech Recognition provides an even more efficient way of using time. It’s also a good middle ground. Some new trainees, for example, like to type their own work and it’s that type of work we would like to target, but Lawyers will still enlist secretarial help for other types of work.” This is building yet more choice into the system at the firm, which should in turn create more buy-in.

In sum, he says, BigHand provides a powerful toolkit of ways in which Dictation can help Taylor Wessing’s Fee Earners. “To be honest, it seems to be the de facto solution for a lot of firms. BigHand have spent a lot of time developing the software to make it the clear leader in the legal sector. This is just another reason they will help us stay a leader in our sector, too.”

BigHand have spent a lot of time developing the software to make it the clear leader in the legal sector. This is just another reason they will help us stay a leader in our sector, too. People have to be away from the office for many reasons, work and personal. Being able to work in a variety of ways usually means increased efficiency, providing the tools to work, no matter where you are, is part of that.

About BigHand Workflow

To provide the best client service while supporting your bottom line, it’s vital to ensure your teams are working efficiently and smartly. Ineffective and outdated methods of delegating tasks makes it easy for things to be overlooked, means your workforce isn’t properly optimized, your tasks aren’t being delivered on time, and your bottom line is suffering as a result.

BigHand Workflow is a task management solution that lets you turn your tasks into fully auditable, digital workflow entries. You can create tasks from voice, email, electronic or paper-based requests – from document production requests to reprographics and travel bookings.

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