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A new vision for the legal profession

The facts

The customer
Kaper Nooijen Advocaten, Eindhoven, Nederlands
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Philips partner
Ateq International
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The solution
PocketMemo Voice Recorder
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SpeechExec Transcription Set
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Kaper Nooijen Advocaten – a young and dynamic legal practice specialising in employment law – was founded in 2011 by employment lawyers Simone Kaper and Susan Nooijen. Based in Strijp-S, a dynamic district in Eindhoven, Kaper Nooijen Advocaten embodies a new generation of innovative lawyers who share a vision for revolutionising working practice in their profession.

“It was around two years ago we opened this practice,” Simone Kuiper explains. “Later we took on Annelyn Aldenkamp and Anneke van Steensel, our legal professionals. Our client portfolio includes SMEs as well as senior professionals. We are committed to quality and reliability.”

Managing costs

“My colleague Susan Nooijen and I started with a soapbox and a laptop, quite literally, and with a firm plan to keep our costs manageable. To begin with we would type all the documents ourselves, but as the workload increased this became no longer viable.

It was then that we decided to contact a secretarial agency that would transcribe our dictated texts remotely.”

Simone has been using a dictation machine for quite some time. “At my first employer, we worked with two lawyers and two secretaries. There was no end to the number of documents being typed. I dictated onto cassettes, digital systems were still unheard-of. It worked fine, except now and then the cassettes would fail us. If you found out a tape was damaged after you’d dictated a long piece, you’d have to start all over again.

When I am in the car after visiting a client, I have the whole conversation worked out in my head, or the letters I want to draft, or the procedural documents I need to prepare. I can do this straightaway.

Simone Kaper
Employment lawyer

Benefits of digital dictation and remote transcription

“I first came into contact with digital dictation systems in my second job and I soon got the hang of editing and correcting the texts I would dictate. We had one permanent secretary for every two lawyers. When we dictated, we were able to see straightaway in the SpeechExec programme whether the text had been completed.

When I’m working on large amounts of texts, such as summonses, procedural documents or written pleas, my desk is just full of files, books, past judgments and journals. The Pocket Memo is useful in such situations because I can page through documents and dictate at the same time. 

The SpeechExec software enables us to upload dictated texts and then download the typed documents automatically. For short memos, we wouldn’t need to use a secretarial service.”

Susan Nooijen, employment lawyer

Four times faster 

“Susan and I regularly have to work under pressure: If I receive instructions one day for a summons that has to be sent out the next, I sometimes only have an hour or two to dictate the text and get it typed out. It’s quicker when we use our secretarial agency and it usually comes back flawless. 

We don’t have a great deal of time ourselves, not least because we have to attend court sessions, sit in on meetings or hold telephone calls. If I need to turn around the dictation whilst I research and type out the case myself, I would need around four hours, maybe longer. But once I’ve received the first draft, I can use it as a stepping stone to complete the rest of the work. I can add more documents and paragraphs later. 

If I’m in the car after visiting a client, I have the whole conversation worked out in my head, or the letters I want to draft, or the procedural documents I need to prepare. I can do this straightaway. If I receive additional documents or have to add comments, I already have the main points set down. 

Our profession is highly sensitive to the kind of information we deal with, so we try not to work with templates and ‘copy-and-paste’ work. The risk of making a mistake is just too great. I prefer to dictate a summons from start to finish. This helps me set down all the steps in a procedure formally and think about everything: the competent court authority, representation from the other party, and such like. If I had to type all this out myself, I’d have to turn down half my clients!” 

Secretarial service: fast and reliable 

“Thanks to the secretarial agency we use, we don’t need to take on our own secretaries. In the past, a legal secretary would have done everything. She would know the clients, type out the cases, and manage the emails and diaries. The lawyer would be only in charge of his or her own discipline. Nowadays, much has been digitised, so lawyers now have easy access to documents. I can quite easily manage my diary on the computer. 

We don’t use the secretarial service 40 hours a week, sometimes it’s as little as ten hours. In this way we can keep our costs down. Of course, we need a service we can rely on, but asking for documents to be turned around on the same day has never been a problem!

It was a pretty easy decision to make when we chose dictation machines from market leader Philips. We wanted the best, and the service we get from Ateq is also an important aspect. 

Thanks to this way of working, we can minimise our overheads, which means we can charge fixed fees and favourable rates.  After all, you don’t have to drive an expensive car to be a good lawyer. We are pretty down-to-earth and don’t sit around in ivory towers. This is the new vision we have for revolutionising the way we go about our work.”

The solution

More satisfied customers

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“The program is extremely easy to use and user-friendly. I honestly wouldn’t change anything. The upload process and labeling are as easy as it gets.“

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