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Lawyers have their law firm in their back pocket

The facts

The customer, Herselt, Belgium
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Philips partner
Leysen Dictation Service Center
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The solution
SpeechAir Smart Voice Recorder
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SpeechMike Premium Touch Dictation Microphone
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Thanks to Philips digital dictation equipment, is ready for the future is a small and young firm with two lawyers, one full-time secretary and one part-time employee who prepares the cases. Lawyers Frank Janssen and Monique Van Baelen are life partners and colleagues, each with a good 30 years of experience at the Bar. Until last year, both worked at Janssen & Arnauts-Smeets law firm in Herselt. At the beginning of 2018, however, they felt it was time to make a change.

Lawyers Janssen and Van Baelen founded their own law firm and made a well-considered choice for a personal approach to each case. All cases are handled by them in person. They advise and assist clients for the entire duration of the case. specializes in family law and administrative law. Lawyer Van Baelen handles family law cases and related matters, including traffic law, criminal law, juvenile law, settlements before a public notary, inheritances, divorces and arrangements for children. Lawyer Janssen handles the cases of traffic law, construction law and administrative law, as well as company law. This young office wanted to make a dynamic start and be ready for the future and deliberately chose to work with Philips.  

Young and fully digital

The work of lawyers involves a lot of dictating. Letters and submissions must obviously be typed out. Before that, both lawyers worked with cassettes, which they both thought was old-fashioned and caused quite a bit of fuss. “Adjusting a dictation or adding things to it was simply impossible with cassettes,” explains Van Baelen. Moreover, the young law firm wanted to work digitally and in the cloud as much as possible. Since both lawyers also wanted to handle all cases personally, even when on holiday, they were looking for a suitable solution.

An online search led the law firm to Leysen Kantoormachines. Nils Leysen, the managing director, advised working with Philips, which would allow them to access and edit files in the cloud as well.

“After a week we were completely up and running. We also opted to use speech recognition technology. It requires some intensive story-telling for the system to recognize your voice, but all in all it was rolled out smoothly,” says lawyer Van Baelen. The office is now dictating completely digitally: both lawyers record their dictations and these are then typed out by the secretaries. In addition, they also work with speech recognition, using a Philips SpeechMike Premium Dictation Microphone and speech recognition software. With this system submissions are typed automatically without intervention of the staff.  Finally, they also use the Philips SpeechLive Cloud Solution, which makes dictations from their Philips SpeechAir (a mobile digital voice recorder) or the Philips Voice Recorder App installed on their smartphone immediately go to the cloud and instantly available to the administrative staff. SpeechLive makes it possible to log into the system from anywhere and work on files. Moreover, their dictated texts can be classified according to urgency.

This system allows us to dictate from anywhere. The texts are directly stored in the cloud and are immediately available at the office. I can see anytime, anywhere what my secretary has finished.

Monique Van Baelen
Lawyer at

Lawyers Frank Janssen and Monique Van Baelen with their assistant

Good communication with the customer is extremely important to us. Thanks to solutions from Philips, we can communicate more smoothly, faster and therefore better than an average law firm.

Monique Van Baelen
Lawyer at

In the clouds 

The advantages of SpeechAir and SpeechLive are huge. The lawyers are really able to work from anywhere they want. This is much to the liking of lawyer Van Baelen: “We sometimes stay abroad and yet we want to keep a check on each of our cases and keep things moving. This system allows us to dictate from anywhere. We can dictate our texts, which are directly stored in the cloud and are immediately available for further action at the office by our administrative staff. We can log in real-time in the programs at the office. This way we can see what is coming in and what is going out. I can see for myself what my secretary has finished anytime, anywhere. When we are abroad you can see what is happening here. I'm not controlling, or checking all the time, but it gives me peace of mind.”

“But I use the system most often of course when I come from the court. When we just come out of a hearing, everything that has been said is still fresh in our memory. Because we have our SpeechAir with us, we can set to work immediately. We dictate at the court or in the car, and by the time we arrive at the office the entire file is updated. This saves us quite some time,” says lawyer Van Baelen. 

For the time being, only lawyer Van Baelen is using the speech recognition software. "I use it for my submissions and the letters to my clients. My dictations are then automatically typed out and forwarded, without the intervention of my administration. Also when I need to draw up a joint text or agreement during a mediation with clients or a discussion with an entire family, I use this system, which allows the clients to follow the text directly on a large screen and adjust if necessary.”

Only advantages

At, you don't see large filing cabinets and paperwork covered in dust. All files are archived in the cloud and can be consulted anytime, anywhere. Lawyer Van Baelen: “I think that's important: when our clients call and ask for their judgment or the status of their case, I just open my computer and read it there, I don’t have to search for a file anywhere. The feeling of always having all the files with you is very reassuring.”

Losing time when the lawyers have to plead, is no longer an option. “You will never hear me complain again that I am losing time. Suppose I have to plead in Brussels in the morning, in Leuven in the afternoon and that I have to see a notary public in Hasselt in the evening. I can just sit down anywhere in between and even dictate from the car.”

“Good communication with the customer is extremely important to us. Thanks to solutions from Philips, we can communicate more smoothly, faster and therefore better than an average law firm”, says lawyer Van Baelen.

It is also a pleasure to work with all these systems according to lawyer Van Baelen: “We come home satisfied in the evening because we have done more work than we ever could. And if you come up with something in the evening or on the weekend, just dictate it in your smartphone, which is always at hand anyway, and you know that your customer will be informed the next day or after the weekend. 

If you are passionate about what you do, your clients will see that too and they too will be happy and satisfied.”

However, lawyer Van Baelen also has plans for the future with the speech recognition technology. She is also considering setting up speech recognition software on the PCs of her administrative staff: “This would automatically type out the dictations I make on my smartphone and all the secretaries have to do is edit and process them. The world of lawyers is a very archaic one. But as you can see: we catch up easily and we keep looking for and investing in a fully up-to-date and optimal system.”

The solution

More satisfied customers

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“I’m not too bad a typer but in terms of speed, it actually is so much better using my voice.“

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“The main objective for our firm has always been to simplify the way solicitors produce documentation or instructions and remove any administrative overhead.“

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