Freehills Roll Out Big Hand Nationally

Australian law firm Freehills have announced a roll out of BigHand a digital dictation workflow system to more than1,000 staff  in its Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane offices, with the Singapore office to follow later this month.

IT Wire reports that the firm will  also install the voice productivity software in its offices as part of what it says is a strategic initiative to create a national document production service that is accessible instantly to lawyers and business services staff and that delivers client documentation of the highest standard.
Philippa Thornton, Freehills secretarial work practices manager said today that outstanding or in-progress documents at the law firm, as well as urgent or large dictations, could now be moved between individuals, teams or offices depending on workload, capacity or the time of the day maximising staff utilisation and skill sets, whilst also taking advantage of time-zone differences.

“Confidential voice recordings can also be confidently moved around the firm, respecting ethical walls, as the system creates information barriers and private workflows. We had realised some time ago that we needed to upgrade our infrastructure and improve our document support framework to enable lawyers and support staff to work together more easily, and to free lawyers up so they could focus on delivery to clients.
“Our aim was also to ensure that all documents are of a consistently high quality, regardless of which support resource or office they originate from. BigHand’s technology was an important component of the programme, as the centralised workflow management tools allow dictation to be managed and transferred within and between offices to deliver faster document turn around and improved utilisation of our support resource.”

Thornton said that the BigHand system provided automated administration and customised workflow to such a degree that the number of dedicated document production team leaders required at the firm had gone from seven to four during the course of the roll out.

According to Thornton, following the BigHand software implementation 90% of Freehills’ lawyers, responding to a post-roll out survey, had reported an improvement in document turnaround times, with 50% reporting an improvement in the quality of the resulting document and more than 50% saying they had increased the amount of dictation they produces.