Case Studies

Case Studies

Productivity and performance fired up by Dragon at top legal firm.

Productivity and performance fired up by Dragon at top legal firm

Gordon Brown Law Firm (GBLF) is a multidisciplinary 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. The team works across all areas of law including family, residential conveyancing, wills and probate, dispute resolution, corporate and commercial.


  • To make fee earners self-sufficient and reduce correspondence turnaround times
  • To bring secretarial role in line with the businesses’ new needs


  • Correspondence turned around in one day
  • More productive fee earners

A vision of the future, today

The firm embarked upon a project to move to a digital environment in order to improve its process efficiency, boost productivity, add more value to clients and 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 Legal, the popular desktop 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. When we saw a demonstration of speech recognition technology a couple of years ago with a view to it replacing our digital dictation solution, we were extremely impressed by how much it had improved from an accuracy and ease of use perspective. We could see how it would fit with the way in which we wanted to direct the business in terms of technology.”

Embracing change for the better with Dragon Legal

Before Dragon was implemented, fee earners dictated letters into the former digital dictation solution which were 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. That performance improvement shouldn’t be too surprising given Dragon’s ability to transcribe up to 160 words per minute, combined with the fact that people speak up to three times faster than they type.

With its Legal specific dictionary, Dragon is measurably helping to increase productivity for the team at GBLF. 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.”

Michael estimates that since implementing Dragon, the number of letters produced per day by the firm has increased by 30%, with letters issued on the same day, rather than one day later. Furthermore, the letters are easier to check and correct in real-time. Any recognition concerns have been allayed as Michael states that Dragon copes very well with the range of regional accents in the office, while the team have also been impressed by Dragon’s intelligence which enables it to learn from any corrections users make.

Simon Dakers, 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. Unlike traditional dictation it allows emails, letters and documents to be produced, and, if necessary, amended quickly and without the need to revisit once returned from a typist. It allows the resource of the secretary to be better utilised in being free to deal with fee earning work and other administrative tasks. The speed at which typed documents can be produced is extremely impressive and the system is a huge assistance when preparing lengthy emails that need to be sent urgently.”

Maximum return, minimum disruption

Another benefit of using Dragon is that it works seamlessly with popular email applications, which is proving popular with its fee earning team, as an increasing amount 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.

Externally this has allowed the firm to offer more cost effective and competitive packages to its client base. “Its ease of use is highly impressive considering how powerful Dragon is and what it is capable of doing.” Michael Wheatley, ICT Manager at GBLF

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.”

Not only is that a solid endorsement of Dragon, but an illustration of how it can help create a stress-free, as well as a paper-free, working environment for forward thinking organisations across all sectors.

This article is copyright Nuance Communications

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Dragon improves productivity

This case study from a legal firm shows how Dragon improves productivity.

In today’s fast-paced, competitive legal market, it is still the personal touch that makes a big difference in the legal services industry. In the case of independent solicitors Pearsons & Ward based in Malton, North Yorkshire, it has always invested in technology to ensure that efficiency and a tailored, personal service, co-exist. The firm offers a comprehensive range of legal advisory services to private individuals and businesses across many diverse sectors.

Against the backdrop of an increasingly competitive market, the firm wanted to find a way to speed up its document workflow processes, while lowering its administration and document production costs. Previously, letters were dictated using digital dictation devices and the files would then be sent to the secretarial team for transcription, before being sent back to a fee earner to be checked and signed off.

To speed up this process, the firm looked to a technology-based solution that would enable it to accelerate the production and distribution of letters, without compromising the company’s trademark personal touch. After seeing a demonstration of Dragon NaturallySpeaking by an authorised Nuance reseller, Pearsons & Ward considered the latest desktop speech recognition to be an ideal complement to its existing digital dictation devices. Partner, Richard Scott, from Pearsons & Ward, described to the reseller the problems the company faced with its former workflow process. “The reseller took the time to understand our business, listen to the challenges and what we were looking to accomplish.” Based on this understanding, the reseller recommended Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance. With its 99% accuracy rate and ability to transcribe up to 160 words a minute, Dragon enables even the busiest user to power through their workload, creating highly accurate documents very quickly.

Boosting productivity without losing the personal touch

Dragon’s rapid enrolment process was a benefit to Richard. “I don’t have time to tame a technology, or to let it distract me from my tasks. With Dragon, I was up and running very quickly.” After the initial training sessions, Richard was able to start utilising Dragon’s power and performance, as he explains: “I have to admit, I am an awful typist. Dragon enables me to quickly and easily convey my thoughts, without being hindered by the keyboard. The efficiency gains I have experienced using Dragon extend beyond creating and completing Word documents quickly.”

He added: “I really like how much easier Dragon makes replying to emails, which is one area I’m gaining a real advantage.” Richard estimates that creating and responding to emails equates to 60% of his Dragon usage. “As soon as emails come in, I can read and reply swiftly. In this day and age of email, clients have an expectation of the timeframe in which emails should be replied to. Dragon enables me to meet this expectation easily, thanks to its speed and accuracy.”

Additionally, Richard claims: “With Dragon, I feel I have more control because I am replying to my own emails. I retain a one on one relationship with the client, so they feel like they are on the receiving end of an attentive, speedy and personal service.”

In addition to helping the firm save time, it is also helping to save costs. “Now that the secretaries have less typing to do, we don’t have to invest in extra resources to conduct essential tasks like filing,” To which Richard adds “…the quality of my filing has increased considerably, now that the secretaries are able to do it for me properly!”

Planning for a speech-based future

Richard has some advice for any other legal professionals that are considering deploying Dragon. He states, “It is human nature to expect that one product can change how you work overnight. But the technology has to fit in with how you work and not interrupt you. I started using Dragon for email, when I was satisfied that there was a real advantage, I started to integrate it more into my daily activities. Then I started to use Dragon to create documents, and I now enjoy the productivity boost that comes with it. Too often, people try and change too much too soon and blame it on the technology if they don’t get the results they expected immediately. By integrating Dragon in a considered way, it really does complement my workflow process and I have seen a definite increase in productivity.” Dragon has impressed Richard’s colleagues too, with a litigation partner agreeing to trial it. “Eventually,” Richard explains, “we’d like to integrate Dragon into our case management system,” a move that would put Dragon right at the heart of the personal service delivered by Pearsons & Ward.

See Dragon in action here!

Neil Sleight is an accredited Dragon trainer. The material for this article is the copyright of Nuance.

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Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking

A light-hearted look at how using Dragon NaturallySpeaking can help you meet your deadlines!

You can dictate directly into Microsoft Word or Outlook, and even search the Internet using voice commands if you wish.

Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking will allow you to complete your paperwork up to three times faster – to put this in perspective, if you have a report that would take you one hour to type, you can complete it in under twenty minutes with your voice! However, this is not the end of the story – with Dragon you can create your own ‘commands’, roughly equivalent to Microsoft Word macros, so you can instantly insert standard paragraphs of text such as a signature, quotation or opening statement.

You can also create commands so that you can navigate and complete a template by voice, filling in variables such as names and addresses, and other changeable fields.

Other possibilities include using a digital dictaphone or smart phone to record notes when you are away from your office, and then connect this device to your PC when you return, and ask Dragon to convert these digital notes into text for you!

The Talking Typist provides comprehensive training courses for people using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, including the creation of commands like this – you won’t believe how much time this can save! If you do not have the time or the inclination to create your own commands, we will do it for you – our passion is to help you save time with your paperwork!

Many people are saying that this is the age of voice recognition and it is now genuinely very good – I offer what I believe is a unique guarantee to ensure that Dragon will help you. Find out more about this by contacting me here!

It is time to Stop Typing, and Start Living!

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Dragon case study 3 – How Dragon helps at a legal firm

This recent study shows how Dragon helps at a legal firm


Established over 80 years ago in Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, McKeag & Co Solicitors has built up a reputation for making the quality of the client experience an integral and rewarding part of the extensive legal services it offers. Its team of 55 staff offer advice and representation on matters ranging from accident claims, criminal law, family law, property law and wills and probate. Apart from the natural desire to ensure its clients’ matters are resolved in a friendly and effective manner, the company actively encourages the introduction of technology in order to further optimise the efficiency of the service it provides.

With that in mind, the company recently managed a staggered deployment of Dragon, Nuance Communication’s best-selling desktop speech recognition software. Dragon turns talk into text easily and can make virtually any computing task easier and faster, from capturing ideas and creating documents, to emailing and searching the web, to using simple voice commands to control many of the popular programs people use every day at work or at home.

Its deployment was largely driven by a pending personnel change at McKeag & Co Solicitors; with two experienced secretaries due to take maternity leave, the company decided that rather than pay for costly staff cover in the interim, it would trial speech recognition to automate the creation of case notes, putting less transcription pressures on the remaining secretarial team, so as not to compromise the quality of the service it delivers.

Typically, the company’s case workers would dictate their reports using digital voice recorders. The saved files would then be downloaded by the secretaries for transcription, checked and signed off by the case worker and then despatched to the relevant recipient or client, or saved to the company’s case management system. However, the duplication in this process meant it could take up to two days for a document to be turned around and occasionally there were further delays that resulted in backlog build ups.

“Initially, we were confident that the productivity gains realised by Dragon would help us offset the resource loss of our two experienced secretaries. What then really wowed us all was Dragon’s ease of use, its accuracy and how much progress has been made compared to much earlier speech recognition solutions. This, combined with a keen Dragon user now singing its praises internally, led us to wonder how much more the business could benefit if we offered Dragon to more members of the team.”

Joanne Williams, McKeag & Co Solicitors I.T. Manager

Trained for success

After a discussion with an authorised Nuance reseller partner, the reseller initially invested one day training a case worker. Thanks to the comprehensive training provided, the user got to grips with Dragon quickly and enjoyed a very straightforward enrolment process, enabling them to be up and running and achieving high levels of accuracy within minutes. Describing the reseller as ‘excellent, responsive and very supportive’ and providing ‘detailed, easy to read ‘How to guides’, it’s no wonder that the user became an enthusiastic internal Dragon champion, as Joanne Williams, I.T. Manager at McKeag & Co Solicitors, explains: “Initially, we were confident that the productivity gains realised by Dragon would help us offset the resource loss of our two experienced secretaries. What then really wowed us all was Dragon’s ease of use, its accuracy and how much progress has been made compared to much earlier speech recognition solutions. This, combined with a keen Dragon user now singing its praises internally, led us to wonder how much more the business could benefit if we offered Dragon to more members of the team.”

Having done so, the overwhelmingly positive response of the team and ongoing advice and support provided by the reseller, has seen the company extend deployment to a further nine case workers. Joanne added, “Productivity has really improved and case notes are now completed within a day, and they tend to be a bit more detailed.” Once saved, the completed transcriptions – which include any documents that relate to court proceedings – are either posted out or stored easily in the company’s case management system.

The reassurance of reliable, dependable speech recognition technology

Joanne observed that the case workers who use Dragon find it reassuring that the words appear on the screen almost as they say them, leaving them feeling confident that everything has been both transcribed accurately and as they intended, and they can easily make any amendments or changes in real-time. Furthermore, as Dragon learns each user’s voice profile and style of dictating, it gets even more accurate each time it is used, further reducing the need to make corrections.

Joanne adds to this, reporting that, “I’ve not had any complaints about the accuracy, but a lot of great feedback about it being intuitive, easy to use and how it helps to get work done much faster. Once they get used to using Dragon, they simply love it. ”Talking their way to even better service”.

From a further personnel perspective, Dragon proved its worth when a secretary retired. “Given the time that front end speech recognition is saving the case file workers, we estimated that we could probably save on a headcount replacement in the event of this natural wastage. In addition to this considerable cost saving, Dragon has helped evolve the roles of the two returning secretaries, post their maternity leave. Now their transcription roles have been reduced, they are able to spend more time supporting the case workers and also, more time speaking with clients either on the phone or within the practice. “This really helps strengthen and build a great rapport with our clients, because there’s more time to care for each client and show a more personal, tailored service,” Joanne added.

An investment that pays off today

Perhaps most importantly, the deployment of Dragon presented another surprising benefit. Joanne stated that, “In the context of the fix-fee billing model, Dragon helps our legal practitioners to complete up to three files in the same time that it used to take them to do one. It is a modern tool that’s really relevant for a modern way of billing. Therefore, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dragon to other legal professionals.”

This article is copyright © 2014 Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Nuance, and the Nuance logo, are trademarks and/or registered trademarks, of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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Dragon Case Study 2

Mr G works for the Foreign Office in London and was due to take an examination for a promotion. These exams are online and Mr G had a problem because he had injured his hand and was unable to use a computer keyboard, so I visited him to show him how he could use Dragon instead of a keyboard.

I visited Mr G twice, the first time to show him the basic principles of using Dragon, and the second time to look at how to use it to help him in his examination. Each session was for half a day.

I contacted Mr G after the exam had been taken and he was very happy to be able to tell me that he had passed!

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Dragon Case Study 1

Mrs H in Witney carried out assessments to help identify equipment to help people back to work following illness or an accident. This often involved lengthy journeys, and then writing a report that could run to 15 or 20 pages.

These reports were usually done in the evening or at the weekend, taking up personal time, so Mrs H thought that Dragon would be worth trying. I visited and set the software up for her, and followed this with half a day of training.

Shortly after this I contacted Mrs H to see how things were going and she was able to say that for the first time ever, she was up-to-date with her paperwork!

This is a very similar situation to that which I found myself in when I was carrying out assessments for Access to Work. I was also travelling a lot and finding that I was writing up my reports in my own time, and they had to be completed to a strict deadline, so they couldn’t be put to one side! However, using Dragon meant that I could complete my reports with ease, and the parts that had taken the longest were now taking no time at all – this was preparing three commercial quotations for all the equipment that I recommended.

This is why I am confident that Dragon will help most businesses with their paperwork!

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