As land registry digitises, Search Acumen launches conveyancing platform

12th January 2022

As featured in Artificial Lawyer.

Property data, insight and technology provider Search Acumen has launched its residential platform, an end-to-end legal technology solution that enables lawyers to manage the entire residential conveyancing process through a central dashboard.

The platform provides a single interface which automatically combines and distils data from a variety of sources to streamline key stages of the property transaction process.

These include managing client onboarding, local authority searches, engagement with HM Land Registry, title reports, indemnity issues, bank checks and post completion filings including AP1 forms and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) submissions.

Critically, the platform equips conveyancers to digitise the AP1 submission process to register the transfer of land which HM Land Registry has made a requirement for all firms by November 2022. Currently up to 80% of AP1 submissions involve uploading physical paper documents, swallowing up unnecessary time and risking inaccuracies.

Data interrogation and process automation

The platform goes beyond simply collating data to interrogate documents and distil key information relevant to a specific property transaction. It then auto-populates important legal forms to save time, streamline processes and reduce the risk of data entry errors.

Any user at a conveyancing firm can progress the workflow for a specific transaction and communicate directly with the nominated Land Registry case worker, reducing the delays which often occur when legal tasks are handed over between colleagues.

The system also provides an automated calendar function, which tracks deadlines and tasks so conveyancers can provide up-to-the-minute status reports to clients and manage their expectations.

Digitisation promises to save hundreds of thousands of administrative hours

Full digitisation of the AP1 process alone through Search Acumen’s platform can save over half an hour of processing time for every transaction. This equates to over 500,000 hours of reduced administration annually across the sector as a direct result of an automated digital process.

Search Acumen estimates the overall processing time saved by using its end-to-end platform could be as much as five hours per transaction – extending the potential aggregate time saving across the whole market to more than 5 million administrative hours.

The launch of the residential platform adds to Search Acumen’s existing suite of legal technology tools for property transactions. This includes its commercial real estate platform ForeSite, which aggregates 75 essential property datasets into a central resource to enable better-informed decisions.

Search Acumen was also the chosen provider of property search data for the first global blockchain trial for residential transactions. It has since integrated artificial intelligence, machine learning and real-time data tools into its core operations to optimise and enhance the due diligence process.

Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director at Search Acumen, comments:

“Our residential platform will continue our track record of abolishing antiquated ways of working and empowering legal professionals to have greater control over transaction processes. It provides a single intuitive portal for the project management of residential sales and purchases and will play a crucial role in digitising key processes, most pressingly AP1 submissions ahead of November’s deadline.

“The end-to-end solution uses advanced AI to automatically populate relevant data throughout the entire transaction process, removing a huge amount of high-volume, low-skill administration, filing and project management tasks. The result is that conveyancers have  information more readily at their fingertips, leaving them to focus on more strategic issues and problem solving for clients.

“The resurgent residential market has provided living proof to many firms of the need for smarter, simpler and more sophisticated ways to manage the property transaction process. Housing all the digital tools to make this possible within one dedicated platform will multiply the time conveyancers can save and deliver a better user experience for legal professionals and their clients.”

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