Bighand has just announced two new wins – one in the United States where NLJ 250 firm Loeb & Loeb LLP has chosen BigHand to be its new supplier of workflow digital dictation technology – this is a competitive swapout of another digital dictation system – and the other in Australia, where Melbourne-based boutique law firm Francis Abourizk Lightowlers is replacing its analogue tape dictation platform…

Loeb & Loeb, which started in Los Angeles and now has offices in New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Nashville and Beijing, previously had a workflow digital dictation system in place, however the firm had experienced several issues. “The previous system was complex to implement on the back end, requiring multiple servers and was not well-supported,” says Judi Flournoy, Loeb & Loeb’s Chief Information Officer.

When Loeb & Loeb met with BigHand at a trade show in 2011, the firm was immediately impressed. “We liked the simplicity of installing and implementing it,” says Ms. Flournoy. Two other pluses were the quality of the app that BigHand had developed for smartphones and BigHand’s flexibility as a workflow application. “It allows administrators and office managers to put every dictation into a pool, so that if an attorney’s primary assistant is busy, the job can be picked up from any number of offices regardless of their geographic location,” Flournoy says. Loeb & Loeb already runs a lean operation administratively but expects to get an additional productivity boost from BigHand.

In the pilot test of BigHand, Loeb & Loeb gave BigHand-enabled devices, including smartphones, to a half dozen attorneys at different locations. “We chose people who are heavy, heavy users of dictation—who really rely on it,” Flournoy says. “That tells you our confidence in BigHand.” The initial pilot group was especially happy with BigHand’s reliability, she says.

Loeb & Loeb also liked the support that BigHand provided. “Their customer service has been excellent, from the sales cycle to the installation to post-installation,” Flournoy says. “They’ve been very responsive.”

In terms of the future, Flournoy sees a potential opportunity for additional Loeb & Loeb attorneys to make use of the BigHand software, possibly on the smartphones they all carry. She concludes, “I would not be surprised if some attorneys who do not think of themselves as doing dictation ultimately choose to adopt the system. We’ll just have to see how things develop organically. It should be interesting.”

Melbourne based law firm Francis Abourizk Lightowlers (FAL) has replaced its legacy analogue dictation system with BigHand’s enterprise class digital dictation workflow and smartphone technology. The firm immediately realised significant efficiency and time saving improvements, which has allowed them to provide greater value to their clients. This new competitive edge has empowered them to bring on board clients that would typically go to the larger firms.

FAL Lawyers specialises in research & innovation law; they know the importance of investing in leading edge technology to leverage efficiency gains.  Since upgrading from their old analogue tape system to BigHand, lawyers at FAL can now instantly send dictations into the workflow from any location worldwide, while having the ability to track the status of the submitted work directly from their smartphone. This has greatly streamlined the dictation workflow, allowing more dictations to be transcribed in a shorter timeframe, eliminating the need to return to the office to hand over tapes.

Ross Horner, Practice Manager at FAL comments: “The main catalyst to upgrading to the latest dictation technology was efficiency and time saving to become more competitive. Our lawyers have already noticed hours of time saved per week due to the dynamic and easy to use nature of BigHand, and the ability to submit dictations instantly from their smartphone from any location worldwide. This time saving has increased productivity as work is being completed more quickly than before, resulting in responding to the clients in a more timely fashion. In addition, the legacy analogue tape system needed constant maintenance resulting in unplanned expenditure, not to mention having to physically hand over tapes in folders – both of which took notable time out of the lawyer’s day.“

BigHand has been praised for its simple interface enabling a smooth transition from the old technology to the new digital platform. Ross Horner continues:  “The lawyers rarely, if ever, require technical support as the technology is very reliable. Minimal training was required as the interface is extremely user friendly and intuitive, and we’ve had very few support calls related to the smartphone application – in significant contrast to the old system.

Vendor Comment: BigHand says it has solidified its position as market leader in both the top and mid-tier Australian legal markets with 9 of the top 10 legal firms (75% of the top 40) choosing BigHand, as well as a large and growing percentage of boutique firms. FAL is an example of a boutique firm using the right technology and smart business apps to leverage their existing investment in smartphones and enable them to compete directly with the larger firms.