Here's our latest round-up of Asia-Pacific news…

WESTLAW LAUNCHES IN AUSTRALIA
Thomson Reuters has launched Westlaw AU offering extensive content from case law and journals, legislation and commentary to precedents, encyclopaedia and news, as well as legal and tax information. The technology behind the intuitive search capability within Westlaw AU  helps point users to precise points of law and offers a new level of confidence that information is authoritative, current and the results are comprehensive. Westlaw AU is developed specifically for Australian customers and is modeled after Thomson Reuters online legal information services in the United Kingdom, United States, Asia, India and South America.

Jackie Rhodes, CEO for Thomson Reuters legal businesses in Australia & New Zealand, said Westlaw AU also features FirstPoint, the first and most comprehensive case digest and case citator service in Australia, as well as the only digest service that allows browsing by subject. Additional features of the service allow for the creation of alerts for new content, and the ability to create and customize folders to organize, store and retrieve information efficiently. “This launch represents a big step for Thomson Reuters by significantly enhancing our leadership position in the legal market in Australia,” said Rhodes. “It represents an outstanding example of what can be achieved when we listen to our customers and apply local knowledge and expertise to a globally developed platform.”

HOLMAN WEBB SELECTS BIGHAND DDS
Holman Webb, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, has switched from its incumbent digital dictation system to v4 of BigHand's digital dictation workflow application. Since upgrading from their old digital dictation system to BigHand, Holman Webb’s Brisbane office has been able to centralise and control all digital dictation workflows, maximising the productivity of staff across the board. The firm had selected BigHand based on the ease of set-up, administration, the limited IT overhead required to maintain the system on an ongoing basis, and its market leading Mobility Suite. The firm has successfully introduced BigHand for iPhone, resulting in a more mobile workforce and increased productivity on-the-go.

Christine Guy, Practice Manager at Holman Webb’s Brisbane office commented on the benefits of BigHand “As a dynamic law firm, it is integral to our strategy to deliver best of breed service. BigHand provides innovative features that enhance the productivity of our firm. After a very smooth upgrade from the old system, the benefits of BigHand were immediately obvious across the board – advanced workflows now allow legal assistants to work-share, security has been increased as authors can mark dictations as confidential, pop-ups allow legal assistants and lawyers to prioritise workload, and management can address turnaround times, peaks, and bottlenecks through the analytics reporting module. All of which has greatly increased efficiency and control. As a result lawyers are getting transcriptions back ahead of time and documents to clients more quickly.

“Introducing the smartphone solution has also been a huge hit withwith the Partners who greatly appreciate being able to dictate anytime and anywhere on their mobile device. This has enabled them to increase their output and to provide a higher level of client service. Our next plan is to increase the smartphone usage within the firm and to look at integrating BigHand with our FileSite platform.”

CLAYTON UTZ GOES WITH HIGHQ
Clayton Utz has become the latest APAC firm to sign up for HighQ Solutions secure extranet and collaboration portal.

AUSTRALIA's No #1 & #2 LAW FIRMS GO WITH DOCSCORP
Minter Ellison, one of the largest law firms in the Asia Pacific region, has abandoned its legacy comparison application in favour of pdfDocs compareDocs and pdfDocs OCR Desktop with its “anything-to-anything” document comparison capability.

Commenting on the decision to go with compareDocs, Garry Meikle, Minter Ellison's National Applications Manager, said the firm had undertaken extensive testing and comparison of various products. “In the key areas of stability, accuracy, presentation consistency and handling of Chinese documents, compareDocs was as good as or even better than the others. The clincher for us was the compareDocs UI and the way it integrated with Autonomy iManage and MS Word out of the box. The product was much easier to use, and could be deployed with minimum training and disruption to our users. Feedback from our lawyers and secretaries has been very positive.”

The Minter Ellison deal follows last month’s decision by the second largest law firm in Australia, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, to also adopt the pdfDocs compareDocs and OCR Desktop solution as its preferred document comparison solution.

AND FINALLY, COMING SOON TO A DESKTOP NEAR YOU



Finally, Legal Technology Insider Limited, the publishers of The Orange Rag are pleased to announce that in the New Year, we will be launching a new edition of our Legal Technology Insider newsletter for the Asia-Pacific market, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia as well as the emerging Chinese and Indian legal markets.

Called Asia Pacific Legal Technology Insider, the newsletter will launch in February as a PDF digital zine and will be available free of charge to anyone registering at apac@legaltechnology.com (we are are starting to compile the distribution list now). The zine will also be published via this blog and promoted on Twitter at @ChristianUncut