Eversheds, one of the largest law firms in the world, has partnered with BigHand to enhance its document production processes with the addition of speech recognition functionality. The development, which builds on the law firm’s long-standing use of BigHand’s digital dictation solutions, will bring speech recognition capabilities to in excess of 2000 lawyers – the single biggest roll-out of its kind.
The firm wide implementation follows the completion of a pilot programme across three Eversheds offices. The pilot demonstrated significant productivity and efficiency gains, giving the company confidence that the full introduction of speech recognition could drive similar outcomes across the firm’s global operations.
“With over 50 offices in some of the world’s major economic centres, there is renewed pressure on our teams to ensure document production is timely, secure and efficient. Our ability to capture, process and communicate information quickly is fundamental to our commercial success and client service approach, so we wanted to improve the agility of our services,” said Debbie Scott, Practice Manager at Eversheds. “Having used BigHand’s digital dictation tools for a number of years – and found them to be reliable, intuitive and effective – it was a natural progression for us to extend our relationship with them to explore speech recognition. The subsequent pilot only reinforced our belief in its viability.”
The pilot programme, which was conducted with a small percentage of lawyers used speech recognition to dictate file-notes and short correspondence and uploaded them to a centralised server. Documents were then proof-read by the in-house production team before being returned to the lawyers. Seeing obvious efficiencies in the new tool allowed the lawyers to look at how they could change some of their working practices to increase performance to clients.
“Although the pilot was relatively small, the results were so compelling that we quickly recognised the potential to transform processes right across the organisation,” said Scott. “The new system dramatically increased the productivity of the document production function. Users reported that it was around 15% faster to listen to – and proof-read – a speech recognition dictation, than to type up the dictation themselves. This brings clear and obvious advantages for us. Our lawyers benefit from faster turnaround time and greater productivity and from a client point of view, we can now provide an even more responsive service. It’s an exciting development and great news for the business.”
Eversheds has now completed the roll out of speech recognition to all of its lawyers. Lee Ranson, Managing Partner of Eversheds comments: “It’s a significant step forward, enabling us to increase efficiency and reduce turnaround times. To be able to get speech recognition up and running for so many people in such a short space of time is very impressive and speaks volumes for the commitment and level of service we have received from the BigHand team.”