Search Acumen enhances commercial property platform to help lawyers inspect public data sources

Search AcumenBy Legal Futures’ Associate Search Acumen

Search Acumen, the property data insight and technology provider, has enhanced its commercial real estate due diligence platform, ForeSite, by adding new datasets to identify property transaction risks.

The new data layers have been integrated to provide commercial real estate lawyers with access to 40 public datasets in total – delivering more detailed insights earlier in the property transaction process. This digital-first approach avoids delays and reduces uncertainty by equipping commercial law firms with the data they need to provide better advice upfront.

Search Acumen now offers users instant access to data showing:

  • Active and abandoned coal mines from the UK Coal Authority – allowing lawyers to identify areas that may be in proximity to a coal mine entries or shafts.
  • Historic flood records from the Environment Agency – enabling lawyers to assess where past floods have taken place in the vicinity and to complement existing flood zone data layers.

Search Acumen has also taken advantage of the City of London’s published datasets for conveyancing search purposes, covering the development pipeline, highways and tree preservation orders. Search Acumen has become the first company to integrate and offer access to this data for the legal market through its ForeSite platform.

Use of the platform to support property transactions has increased fourfold over the last year as Search Acumen has become the data provider of choice for more law firms’ commercial property practices.

Alongside the new data layers, the platform gives lawyers access to information such as planning applications; commercial, corporate and overseas property ownership; Greenbelt land and areas of outstanding beauty; common and public rights of way; and major infrastructure projects like HS2 and Crossrail.

Christian Woodhouse, Head of Data and Strategic Products at Search Acumen comments:

The latest additions to our ForeSite platform will arm lawyers with crucial information to mitigate risk and expedite real estate transactions. Access to large property datasets is helping transform the legal real estate industry away from paper-based processes towards a digital-first approach. This streamlines due diligence processes even further and helps lawyers provide an enhanced service to their clients.”

“Property lawyers depend on data to ensure their clients are fully informed about every aspect of the property they’re transacting. That’s why as soon as a useful digital property dataset is available, we work hard to make it readily accessible. Law firms should carefully consider whether they can afford to operate without these kinds of insights at their fingertips. At the same time, public and private sectors must work harder to provide open data access and deliver the government’s vision of a digital revolution in the property sector.”


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