BigHand will tomorrow announce that leading Dutch law firm Dirkzwager has implemented BigHand v4.2 digital dictation workflow software and BigHand’s smartphone apps to facilitate more flexible working practices amongst both lawyers and secretaries by enabling them to work from home, whilst also expediting the dictation-to-document process.

Jeroen Zweers, manager of ICT & facilities at Dirkzwager and developer of the widely used legalknowledgeportal.com says BigHand has encouraged the number of lawyers dictating at Dirkzwager to increase. Initially the firm only purchased licences for the 80 lawyers that were already dictating. However, following a successful rollout the usage reports indicated high user adoption, facilitating promotion of the technology between lawyers within the firm. In response to this Jeroen increased the number of BigHand licences to cater for those lawyers that historically had not been dictating at all. This is positive for the firm as now more lawyers are using a more efficient method of dictation.

The BigHand smartphone app allows lawyers at Dirkzwager to dictate from any location via their iPhone or BlackBerry and send those dictations instantly for transcription. Secretaries can start work on a dictation immediately after it has been recorded, rather than having to wait for tapes to physically reach their desk.

Jeroen comments “Mobility is one of the key issues that we are facing today. It fits with our thinking about a virtual world. In the old days, a partner might collect all the dictation tapes and matters, and give these to the secretary at the end of the day or maybe even two days late, now lawyers can automatically send dictations to the workflow directly from their smartphone with just a click.”

Jeroen recognises that modern working practices involve lawyers and secretaries spending more and more time away from the office and so rolled out BigHand to ensure that lawyers and secretaries have the ability to work whilst outside of the office. Looking to the future, he plans to integrate BigHand with Dragon speech recognition technology at Dirkzwager, to further accelerate the document production process and to increase the  self-sufficiency of lawyers. Jeroen adds
“Speech recognition will give us more flexibility. If a secretary is not available, the lawyer can still quickly generate a document.”