In association with Voice Technologies, how one of Scotland's leading law firms has seen improved working practices with digital dictation and iPhone solutions

The background

Levy & McRae is one of Scotland’s leading law firms and has consistently been placed among the top five law firms in Scotland. The firm works for private clients in a wide range of industries and has a world-renowned reputation for media and aviation law. Clients include government organisations, law enforcement agencies, football clubs, FTSE 100 companies, many SMEs and a number of high-profile individuals. Levy & McRae were recently appointed to represent the entire Scottish Police Federation work.

The problem

Based in St Vincent Street, Glasgow, Levy & McRae covers the whole of Scotland with 57 office and field-based employees. The firm had traditionally used analogue tape-based recorders and trialed outsourced transcription, but quickly found that in-house processing was faster and more accurate, in particular when Scottish law practices needed to be considered. In a time where many legal firms are outsourcing their dictations to other UK firms and Asia, it is important to Levy & McRae that the work stays in Scotland to accommodate Scottish clients and Scottish law.

The firm’s initial requirements were met after a move from analogue devices to a Winscribe digital dictation solution in 2003. However, changing client expectations and the accessibility of remote working meant that Levy & McRae needed a more flexible and dedicated approach to their document creation process.

With partners travelling regularly across Scotland and worldwide, a concise and reliable method of remote working was required where staff did not need to return to the office to process client correspondence, and instead could be work-efficient while based offsite.

Levy & McRae’s office manager, Lynne McCaughey, explains: “We had digital dictation in place before, but clients’ requirements have changed. Now the client wants to know that you are available 24/7, so we had to find a way of making it happen”.

The Voice Technologies solution

In legal environments, document turnaround time has to be quick. There were frequent occasions, especially when working with police clients, when documents needed to be prepared for the following day – even when the files were dictated in remote locations such as the Scottish Highlands.

Levy & McRae needed to refresh their technology – they required an easy-to-use, reliable system, which could be introduced seamlessly into their existing digital dictation set-up without taking the system offline in the process. This system overhaul had to result in staff being able to dictate files and send them for immediate processing while working out of the office.

After consultation with Voice Technologies, Levy & McRae selected the Winscribe iPhone app, and found it incredibly simple to install and use with no prior knowledge or experience of the system. In addition, the entirety of the server work was implemented remotely by Voice Technologies within working hours, so the busy firm didn’t experience any downtime.

Lynne explains: “iPhone recording means that our investigators can dictate anywhere and send the files to the office in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours or even days it might take to travel themselves.”

The simplicity of the iPhone app meant that internal processes didn’t change; it simply enabled effective remote working between field staff and office locations, allowing electronic sharing of work between the two offices rather than the manual exercise of handing over analogue cassette tapes.

A more efficient process for 2013

Levy & McRae now have 24 staff using digital dictation technology, with fee-earners and partners using both Philips and Olympus hardware (Philips SpeechMike and Olympus portable devices) with Winscribe Digital Dictation. Partners have also adopted the Winscribe iPhone app as part of their portfolio in order to process client files and correspondence when they are not in the office. The appointment of Voice Technologies, also based in Glasgow, to install and configure the system was a strategic one. Lynne comments further: “Having a local supplier like Voice Technologies is invaluable; I know that in a worst-case scenario, assistance is just around the corner, and having this level of after-sales care means that they can fix it there and then.”

David McDermott, senior technical account manager for Voice Technologies, comments: “Levy McRae have continually developed the use of their digital dictation application over the years, and the introduction of the iPhone app is the latest feature from which their fee-earners and clients can benefit. The use of mobile apps for digital dictation is available for smaller sole practitioners right up to the larger law firms, as another method of assisting with the change in working patterns for many solicitors.”

The results

Higher employee productivity: digital transcription tasks are more visible and representative, therefore can easily be shared internally among the secretarial team.

Greater customer satisfaction: client correspondence can be delivered quickly and accurately, even if the fee-earner or partner is working remotely.

Greater accuracy: digital recording ensures optimum clarity and enhanced volume options, and headsets cut out background noise for greater concentration of sound.

More flexible working methods: investigators can dictate and send recordings for processing immediately, regardless of location or availability of wifi connections.  


About Voice Technologies

Voice Technologies are specialists in document creation, speech recognition and digital dictation services and solutions. An employee-owned organisation operating from Glasgow and Sheffield, our nationwide sales and support team understand your industry and working environments. We focus on legal sectors and have proven expertise in integrating your existing work practices and delivering real financial and administrative benefits to the firm.

Contact us for further information, sales brochure or an on-site demonstration!

Voice Technologies t. 0141 847 5610 e: w: Twitter: @VoiceTechs

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