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Gordon Brown Improve Client Satisfaction with Speech Recognition

ICT Manager Michael Wheatley, and Family Partner Simon Dakres talk about using speech recognition to meet the business’s ever-changing needs including reducing their turnaround times.

  • Successful, long-standing legal firm.
  • A forward-thinking and progressive attitude.
  • Prepared to embrace technology.
  • To make fee earners self-sufficient and reduce correspondence turnaround times.
  • To bring a secretarial role in line with the businesses’ new needs.
  • Correspondence turned around in one day.
  • More productive fee earners.
  • legal speech recognition transforms business.



Gordon Brown Law Firm (GBLF) is a multi-disciplinary law firm in the North East of England with 85 staff across two offices.

The firm provides cost-effective, high-quality legal services and advice for both individuals and businesses, ranging from SMEs to large corporations.

Also, the team works across all areas of law including family, residential conveyancing, wills and probate, dispute resolution, corporate and commercial.






A Vision of The Future, Today


The firm embarked upon a project to move to a digital environment. Aiming to improve its process efficiency, and productivity and add more value to clients.

Furthermore, the firm wants to diversify the role played by its secretarial team whilst reducing its overall impact on the environment.

Central to helping the firm achieve its goals was Dragon Professional Group, the popular desktop legal speech recognition software from Nuance Communications.

Michael Wheatley, ICT Manager at GBLF explains the firm’s philosophy on technology: “GBLF is a very progressive and forward-thinking firm with regards to technology. Therefore, when we saw a demonstration of speech recognition technology a couple of years ago and we were extremely impressed. Especially by how much it had improved from accuracy and ease of use perspective. Ultimately, we could see how it would fit with the way we wanted to direct the business in terms of technology.”





Embracing Change for The Better with Dragon Legal


Before Dragon legal speech recognition was implemented, fee earners dictated letters into the former digital dictation solution. The audio was in turn typed by secretaries before returning them to fee earners for sign-off.

Michael reports that this process took twice as long as it does with speech recognition. Of course, the performance improvement isn’t too surprising considering Dragon’s ability to transcribe up to 180 words per minute.

What’s more, is that people speak up to three times faster than they type!

Dragon is measurably helping to increase productivity for the team at GBLF, particularly due to its legal vocabulary.

Importantly, Michael explained: “Dragon Dictation was implemented and fee earners were provided with the relevant training to allow them to be more self-sufficient.  Not only does it reduce correspondence turnaround times, but the speedier service results in increased client satisfaction.”

The number of letters produced per day by the firm has increased by 30%. Letters are now issued on the same day, rather than one day later.






Legal Speech Recognition Copes with The Demands of Diverse and Successful Business

With Dragon, the letters are easier to check and correct in real-time. Michael states that Dragon copes very well with the range of regional accents in the office.

Additionally, the team is also impressed by Dragon’s intelligence which enables it to learn from any corrections users make.

Likewise, Simon Dakers, the family Partner at GBLF, explains how Dragon has helped productivity within his team “The real benefit of Dragon Dictation is the immediacy of seeing the dictated words.

Speech recognition allows documents to be produced, and, if necessary, amended quickly and without the need to revisit once returned from a typist – unlike digital dictation.

The software encourages secretarial resources to be better utilised by focusing on fee-earning work and other administrative tasks.

The speed at which typed documents are produced is extremely impressive. The system is a huge assistance when preparing lengthy emails that need to be sent urgently.” – Simon Dacres, Family Partner





Maximum Return, Minimum Disruption


Another benefit of using Dragon is that it works seamlessly with popular email applications. The fee-earning team love this aspect because a lot of their time is spent responding to emails.

Perhaps a more important consideration is that Dragon Legal integrates easily with Ochresoft, the company’s case management solution.

Secretarial and administrators (including apprentices) were offered the opportunity to complete paralegal training as part of the Dragon programme.

Many are now in the process of completing paralegal qualifications in debt management, residential conveyancing, and family and employment law.

Alternatively, some have already completed the qualification and are now fee earners which is motivational and satisfying for them.

This has allowed the firm to offer more cost-effective and competitive packages to its client base. This saves time, space and money.

Aiding the implementation of Dragon and helping the team get to grips with it quickly was VoicePower. VoicePower has been supplying speech recognition solutions and dictation products for more than 20 years.

They were responsible for installing Dragon and training the team, of which Michael was extremely pleased with:

“VoicePower is really organised and works very well together as a team. The support team is excellent. If there are any major problems, they are here on-site within half an hour. They’ve proved to be honest and reliable and they’ll do all they can to help you.”

For these reasons, Michael states he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dragon to other legal professionals, citing its accuracy, ease of use and reliability.

“Its ease of use is highly impressive considering how powerful Dragon is and what it is capable of doing.” – Michael Wheatley, ICT Manager


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