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Posted on April 20, 2017

Multi-site law firm opts for digital dictation and sees flexibility in balancing workloads


To eliminate the delays and inefficiencies caused by multi-site document processing. 


Introducing new dictation recorders and document processing software.


“A notable advantage was the ability for us all to be working aligned on the same system and pick up jobs centrally; making our office practices much more flexible and allowing prioritisation of important work.”
Jane McQueen, Office Administrator


A strategic amalgamation of five local firms, Gillespie Gifford & Brown LLP is an established law firm with a service history dating back to the late 18th century. The origin of the practice stems from a merger in 1985 between Castle Douglas-based Lidderdale & Gillespie and Patrick Gifford & Co., later united with Adam & AC Brown, Lennons and McGowans during the nineteen eighties and nineties.

The merging of four independent offices created variance in working practices and clerical methods. With document production being a significant part of a typical law firm’s requisite, traditional dictation systems were used to create typed documents from fee-earners’ dictated audio files. In the case of Gillespie Gifford & Brown, three offices were still using analogue dictation; a traditional yet limiting practice of recording dictated memos and reports on mini-cassettes for hand-over to in-house secretaries for transcribing on desktop playback machines.

This aged technique of producing typed correspondence had its difficulties; in order to support other offices during holiday periods, staff sometimes travelled between offices to work or make deliveries. The firm identified the need for clerical connectivity between the four sites to both smooth out the document production process and also maximise the flexibility of secretarial services between the different locations. The criteria was clear – the new system had to be configured between all sites and had to integrate with the existing office programmes and applications.

Achieving efficiency using dictation recorders and document processing software 

Voice Technologies provided a consultation on the multi-site requirements and recommended a series of digital portable recorders from Olympus – the DS-7000. This leading dictation device combines the portable autonomy of a recorder with uncompromised sound quality. The device is optimised for crystal-clear recording and appoints each dictated file with profiling features for identification.

Benefits for fee-earners

Definable work-types, priority levels and even in-device encryption allow the fee-earner an at-a-glance overview of each dictation’s urgency and type as well as assigning password protection to protect client confidentiality – a far cry from the relative anonymity of analogue tapes. With the dictated file recorded, the fee-earner can route the recording to the secretarial team with the single click of a button via the office network or email.

Benefits for secretarial staff

For the firm’s secretarial team, Voice Technologies implemented a document processing application that turns dictated audio files into a format that allows fast transcription. The Olympus AS-7000 provides clerical assistance with file identification (the fee-earner’s assigned urgency and privacy ratings) in a list-view interface for easy handling of new, pending and archived jobs. The connectivity of the software enables the secretarial team in all the firm’s offices to share pending tasks – optimising staff resources especially at busy times.

Gillespie Gifford & Brown has seen measurable benefits in the multi-site document processing solution from Voice Technologies – more efficient office practices and, ultimately, a breakthrough in shortening document turnaround and improving response times to clients.