New electronic site maps could halve the time it takes conveyancers to build site plans, according to Legal Futures Associate SearchFlow.

SearchFlow’s Site Assembly service maps all relevant land titles, tenures and property interests in a single view, allowing instant and easy visibility of gaps in ownership. Additional data such as environmental information, the position of utilities and aerial photography can be added to build a comprehensive site profile.

Solicitors currently manually assembling the necessary information generally require between seven and 10 hours of staff time to order, assemble and review a site plan. According to SearchFlow, this could be replaced by the new service, saving lawyers hours of manual administrative work and freeing upfee earners chargeable time.

The service can be used to assess any site, however large or small. Additional data can also be requested, such as information on contamination and flooding risks, which can also be overlaid spatially onto the electronic map. The service will remove the need to produce paper copies of site plans for distribution to stakeholders. The finished project is delivered on a disk, a USB stick or by e-mail.

David Kempster, director of SearchFlow, said: “The Site Assembly service will fundamentally change the way site plans are put together. For far too long, the process has relied on making cumbersome manual copies of all necessary information and presenting this physically to clients. By bringing all this information together electronically, the Site Assembly service will bring the process into the modern age and deliver a big time saving.

“The flexibility of the electronic method means just about any relevant information can be added to the plan and passed to all the relevant parties electronically. It’s cheaper, clearer and easier to use than manual plans, and demonstrates an innovative way of working that cannot fail to impress clients.”

The system is already successfully employed in more than 20 large commercial and niche law firms, including Mundays and Brabners Chaffe Street LLP. Both firms have integrated this process into their workflow on key development projects.

Ingrid Saffin, commercial property partner at Mundays, said: “Having SearchFlow complete this work was a huge bonus for us and the client in terms of time saving, efficiency and cost. Had we undertaken the task via the usual manual, paper process, it would have taken weeks to prepare. Completion time was halved as mapping experts deal with GIS data and the compilation of the site.”


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