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How Taylor Vinters secured a faster valuation and savings for the client

“Using Orbital Witness to create a site plan achieved clearer results, ahead of a potentially costly legislation change”

Andrew Williamson, Partner

Taylor Vinters is an international law firm supporting the businesses which drive the innovation economy, and the entrepreneurs and private wealth that underpin them. Innovation is at the heart of everything they do.

Andrew Williamson advises clients on agricultural law issues, concentrating on agricultural land sales and purchases and also acting for landlords and tenants on agricultural tenancy issues.

The challenge

“The main landowner of a large carrot and parsnip farm which supplies most major supermarkets had passed away, this prompted the probate procedure which requires a land valuation. The farm included a number of sites, including one very large one. The constituting parcels of land and titles were either: owned by a company the individual had an interest in; the individual on behalf of a farming partnership; or the individual himself. We needed to identify who owned each part of the land and specify who else may have an interest to the valuer. To do this we needed to compile a list of titles and ownership interests, and demonstrate this to the valuer in a visual format so they can understand the “lay of the land”. We were also conscious of an upcoming change to probate fees, so we were keen to finish the work before this happened to help our client save money.”

“By using Orbital Witness, we were able to complete the work quicker by a factor of weeks.”

Our solution

“We had been working with the client for some time, so we were able to create a list of title numbers from our records. In other scenarios we use Orbital Witness to identify all the titles within a client’s given property or area of interest. By uploading our list to Orbital Witness, we had easy access to title ownership information and boundaries instantly. We then identified companies of interest to the valuer from the deeds and used Orbital Witness to get up-to-date information on other titles owned by those companies, which we could do ourselves, without having to wait weeks for a PN1 search.

We created a composite site plan for all the titles across the different sites in under an hour, using different colours and patterns to denote the different ownership interests. If we had done this ourselves by drawing boundaries on a map by hand, or paid a land agent to do it, it would have taken several days and cost the client considerably more.”

“With all our big clients we now create an estate map using Orbital Witness as standard”

The result

“By using Orbital Witness, we were able to complete the work quicker by a factor of weeks. This meant that we were able to beat the impending change to legislation coming into force and save our client money on probate fees. We also didn’t need to bother the client with questions or do corrections as what we initially produced was highly accurate. Not only was the composite site plan quicker to create, it was more professional looking than a hand drawn plan and far easier to work with. The plan is now being used by us and the client in other matters as their estate map, which they refer to when discussing wider issues.

With all our big clients we now create an estate map using Orbital Witness as standard. This is a useful reference when discussing their plans to ensure we clearly understand what is required. For example, when farm partnerships are being formed or reorganised a map can be provided to the accountants alongside the agreement so that they know precisely what is included. More specific site plans can be created quickly to demonstrate issues to the client, for example, highlighting an unadopted road or an access issue.”