Land Registry drops ‘top 50 name and shame’ plan

Land Registry: Requisition counts to be published

The Land Registry has dropped plans to publish a chart of the top 50 law firms it deals with, ranked by the number of incomplete or erroneous applications they make.

It is, however, pressing ahead with publishing raw data for a larger cohort of 500 firms. This will happen by the end of this month.

In December 2017, the Land Registry’s five-year business strategy said it would look at publishing “our comparative conveyancer data to provide the end consumer with a real picture of how well their conveyancer is performing, and to enable firms to track their relative performance”.

Shortly after, it said the plan was to publish a downloadable CSV file naming the 500 customers that sent the highest volume of applications and show the percentage of the applications which needed further work before they could be processed.

This would be accompanied by a chart tracking this data for the top 50 customers by volume of applications.

However, the Land Registry is not now going ahead with the latter. A spokesman told Legal Futures: “This initial proposal was refined after a host of stakeholder engagements and consultations across the legal and conveyancing sectors showed the ‘top 50 chart’ was not necessary.”

The registry said last week that it sent out more than 3,000 requisitions a day – a figure it put at 5,000 when the proposal was first mooted.

The data for the period April 2018 to December 2018 will contain customer names arranged alphabetically; the number of applications received from each customer and completed by the Land Registry, broken down by application types (register updates, first registrations, new leases and transfers of part); and the number of requisitions raised on them.

The data from January 2019 to March 2019 will be published next month and then quarterly thereafter. The spokesman said: “The release of this data supports our ambition to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data, and fulfils our business strategy target.

“It also supports the government’s Industrial Strategy, enabling closer alignment with the Competition and Markets Authority’s recommendation for greater transparency in the legal sector.

“We will continue to work with our customers to improve application quality, making the whole registration process faster and cheaper.”

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