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Legal Speech Recognition Transforms Newtons Solicitors

Newtons has worked with VoicePower for all of its documentation needs since 2013. Initially started with Winscribe Dictation, then onto Dragon Professional Group and most recently Dragon Professional Anywhere. The legal firm’s workflow has evolved with it. Let’s take a look at their journey…

  • A large firm of solicitors in North Yorkshire.
  • 120 staff across 12 offices.
  • Old digital dictation system “creaking under the strain” of a much larger firm.
  • Create a system allowing reporting so capacity can be identified across different offices.
  • Minimize disruption to the busy team during implementation and initial use.
  • Provide a system with the ability to expand as the company grows further.
  • Dragon has allowed the workload to be shared more effectively.
  • A smooth change-over, with little disruption and software that is easy to use at all levels.
  • New users can be added and concurrent licenses minimize costs.

After almost a decade in business, Newtons Solicitors has grown significantly.

With five acquisitions under its belt, the company had incorporated more than 120 staff across its 12 offices around North Yorkshire. Their sites include Darlington, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Leyburn, Richmond, Ripon, Stokesley, York, Thirsk, and North Allerton.

The Problem


The firm says: “Our original digital voice recorders and secretarial system were ideal in the early days, but it was creaking under the strain of a much larger and extremely busy firm.”

“We also wanted a reporting facility to enable us to identify capacity across our offices. Therefore, we needed greater flexibility so that the system could grow with us in the future.”Newtons Solicitors

legal speech recognition

The Resolution


After assessing the needs of the team at Newton’s, VoicePower recommended the Winscribe system – the best option for the firm at the time.

David says that, as a result of introducing the new software, the team at Newton’s saw improvements very quickly.

Because of the reporting capabilities of Winscribe, it’s possible to see which office is busy with typing and which is quieter. Therefore, the teams could share the workload across different offices and work more efficiently.

“With VoicePower’s support, implementation was very easy. We had a project plan in place, our larger offices were split to avoid too much disruption, and the whole process was very smooth.”

“The team also helped with the initial teething problems as we started using the new system. And their service has been excellent, we would certainly recommend VoicePower to others.”

Ready For Something New


Three years after deploying Winscribe, Newtons were still reaping the benefits. However, the forward-thinking firm’s speech technology journey hasn’t ended there.

Newtons has continued to work closely with speech recognition experts, VoicePower Ltd, to further develop their workflow processes and decided that they would like to explore Dragon voice-to-text software.

The team at Newtons speak very highly of the Nuance Winscribe digital dictation solution. Yet they reached a point after approximately sixteen months of using Winscribe, that they were interested in incorporating speech recognition into their workflow as well.

“We realised that actually, if we were seeing such great results with Winscribe in terms of productivity and efficiency, introducing speech recognition alongside it could offer us even more.” – Newtons Solicitors




Preparing for Speech Recognition


Speech recognition is a completely different way of working compared to digital dictation.

As with any change, it’s vital that it is managed appropriately and that the client is supported to ensure a smooth transition and the best results possible.

VoicePower has extensive experience in helping legal firms handle this transition, this is why VoicePower was the perfect partner to guide the legal experts through this transition.

After assessments of their IT infrastructure and requirements, VoicePower advised Nuance Dragon Professional Group as the best-suited version available at the time for Newtons’ requirements.

Dragon Professional Group’s capability to be deployed on multiple desktops and the multi-user licence model was ideal for the ever-growing team at Newtons.

“Dragon’s accuracy was excellent straight away. Our team were able to create their documentation, write-ups and notes rather than passing them onto our already pressured secretarial staff. Equally, emails take an inordinate amount of time and these are often typed manually by the fee earners.” Newtons Solicitors

For the team at Newtons, Dragon Professional Group was instrumental in replenishing headcount:

“Dragon has enabled us to cover the absence of staff members without the need to replace them or outsource their service.”Newtons Solicitors

They elaborate: “For us, this is where we saw significant savings with speech recognition and what’s more, we were able to better manage the pressure and workload increase that this would typically entail.”


A New Release, New Possibilities


It doesn’t stop there for the ambitious legal firm.

Approximately eighteen months down the line came a brand-new version of Dragon: Dragon Professional Anywhere.

The launch of Dragon Professional Anywhere brought with it many advantages for Newtons and similar large enterprises that have complex IT infrastructures such as remote desktops and Citrix.

VoicePower approached Newtons to evaluate this edition as they saw that this would further improve their speech recognition experience.

As confirmed by Newtons’ IT Manager, Lloyd Martin “We’re always looking for ways to streamline and improve our technology, ensuring that everything was fully compatible with the remote environment – including Dragon, was a priority.”

It was for these reasons that Newtons were open to exploring the new Dragon Anywhere Professional edition which VoicePower was able to supply.

legal speech recognition

Dragon Professional Anywhere – The Best Version Yet


Dragon Professional Anywhere is available as both a cloud-hosted and on-premise deployment, this version is lightweight and versatile and requires minimal changes to an organisation’s IT infrastructure.

Furthermore, the cloud version can be paid for via monthly subscription which is cost-effective for businesses and attractive from a budgeting perspective.

With guidance and support from Nuance Partner VoicePower Ltd, Newtons were the first UK site to trial the Dragon Professional Anywhere solution.

The beauty of the users within the firm having access to both the Dragon Professional Anywhere speech recognition software and the Winscribe digital dictation is that of flexibility and adaptability.

Some of the fee earners use both solutions, Winscribe digital dictation for tasks such as templated letters and Dragon for logging telephone notes and entries into their DPS case management system sending emails.

Following the successful trial, there are now 80 Dragon Professional Anywhere users at Newtons and they are pleased with the results: “The accuracy is excellent and our staff have racked up over 45 hours of using it!”

Dragon Professional Anywhere has greatly reduced the turnaround time of letters and as such the clients receive their correspondence in a far timelier manner.

“Not only is our service quicker and more effective, but the quality and detail within our documentation has also greatly improved. We have clear and concise notes and correspondence with clients, which of course equates to better client experience.”Newtons Solicitors

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