Making Transcripts of Audio Recordings

If you are providing an audio recording to a lawyer for legal advice, it will save the lawyer time (and therefore save you fees) if you make a transcript of the recording saving the transcript as a PDF file named - e.g.

2011-03-24    Transcript of Recording of meeting at Africa House (made on 24 May 2015).pdf

(The date at the beginning of the file name is the date the recording was made, not the date you made the transcript).

The longer the audio the more important it is to make a transcript when sending it to a lawyer as the more time will be saved. 

When you send the transcript to a lawyer, if there is an important part of the recording which needs to be heard – e.g. a particular tone of voice used at some point which it is necessary to hear to appreciate the full impact and meaning of what is said – then you should send the recording itself indicating (by reference to the transcript) which particular parts should be listened to. Otherwise it is not generally necessary to send the recording itself – only the transcript.

Transcribing a lengthy recording can take a considerable amount of time. It is only necessary to transcribe the relevant parts. Sometimes the whole of the recording is relevant but if, for example, there is a conversation between people on friendly terms it may be that out of an hour’s conversation, most of what is said is general friendly conversation about matters which are irrelevant to what the current dispute is about, and only 5 minutes is a discussion of what is relevant (e.g. a discussion of a business transaction which is now in dispute). In this case the transcript can simply summarise in a few words the general conversation (e.g. “general conversation about the parties’ children and how the English cricket team is doing”) and only set out verbatim the 5 minute relevant conversation.   

If the recording is of a formal meeting at which minutes are being made by a secretary and if, having heard the recording, you believe the minutes are an accurate summary of what was said (i.e. nothing significant has been missed out and the minutes have not been “slanted” in a way which does not do justice to what was said) then in that case it is not necessary to make a transcript. You should let your lawyer know that there was a recording and that, having listened to it, you are satisfied that the minutes are fair.  



This information page is designed to be used only by clients of John Antell who have entered into an agreement for the provision of legal services. The information in it is necessarily of a general nature and is intended to be used only in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about the individual case. This information page should not be used by, or relied on, by anyone else. 

This page was lasted updated in November 2016          Disclaimer