Gardner Leader Solicitors and Tikit collaborate to tailor P4W for land registry integration
Gardner Leader Solicitors are based in Berkshire, with offices in Newbury, Thatcham and Maidenhead. The firm aims to be at the leading edge when it comes to using legal technology to support client services. As well as offering services to businesses and families, it also offers online products.
Typically, Gardner Leader staff had to scan and store documents outside of the case management system then manually send them on to the Land Registry. Later, the Land Registry would return the documents and staff would have to file the documents again. Every year, Gardner Leader sends thousands of files between P4W and the Land Registry Business Gateway. The manual process was proving to be a massive overhead and the firm decided to look again at the possibilities for a more integrated, automated solution.
Gardner Leader chose to work closely with Tikit and see if, together, it would be possible to develop the Land Registry integration features of P4W to meet Gardner Leader’s specific requirements. Although it was possible to access the Land Registry portal from within P4W, Gardner Leader wanted a higher level of integration.
Over a period of several months, Tikit software developers collaborated with David Brooks - Gardner Leader’s Systems Development Manager (pictured left), to develop the Land Registry integration with the P4W case management system in a live environment. Access to staff with long experience of using the live Land Registry environment was crucial to the success of the project. Solicitors and support staff who were familiar with the constraints of the previous system were able to demonstrate the day-to-day issues that they faced and create a wish list of changes that would benefit their workflow.
One of the items on the wish list was to be able to access documents referred to on a Land Registry title direct from the Land Registry Business Gateway. Staff also had issues with documents coming from the Gateway in an unfamiliar format. They wanted to be able to view these documents in the format that they were used to. Tikit was able to deliver both these requirements. Additionally, users wanted to be able to utilise the electronic document registration service (EDRS) to register properties directly from P4W.
Together, Tikit and Gardner Leader tested a series of beta systems before rolling out a pilot of the final integration to key users. The plan is to eventually roll this out across the firm to anyone who would benefit from easy access to the Land Registry.
Land Registry activity is now automated, massively improving the firm’s efficiency. The real showstopper was the new electronic document registration service (EDRS), which offers the ability to register a property at the Land Registry direct from P4W. The system automatically uploads all the documents that have been created within the conveyancing lifecycle and then the Land Registry returns these documents directly back into the case management system.
Gardner Leader’s P4W case management system is fully integrated with the Land Registry system. Solicitors have seamless access to the required areas of the Land Registry database and are able to use it just as they would an internal system. The firm is always looking to make its internal processes as efficient as possible and as easy as possible for staff to use – with the ultimate goal of providing the best possible client experience. This integration has achieved that objective.
The automation of the process of sending documents to and from the Land Registry portal reduces the likelihood of human error, documents going missing and data breach. The integration with the case management system also has the effect of breaking down traditional legal department siloes, enhancing the firm’s ability to provide responsive customer service. In the past, if a member of staff was on holiday for a week and a Land Registry
document arrived with him or her at the beginning of that week, then there would be a delay in actioning that document for the customer until the employee came back from holiday. The Land Registry can take anything from a few days to a few weeks to turn around documents so it is difficult to predict when they will arrive at the firm.
Additionally, the Land Registry regularly responds to documents with a ‘requisition’, that is further queries about a property title – and the legal process is on hold until these are addressed. Now, the EDRS allows
the firm to send documents and requisitions straight into P4W. Then the Task Centre feature in P4W sends out an alert of the document receipt to the relevant staff.
With the bespoke solution in place, Gardner Leader is reaping measurable benefits from the combination of being able to contact the Land Registry from within P4W, to re-use existing data within its own system and receive data and PDF copies of documents directly into P4W. The firm is not only seeing huge efficiencies in both time and resource, but it is also freeing up staff from manual tasks to add value to client services.