How Mishcon de Reya helped a client visualise a solution to a complex issue

Site plan for illustration purposes only.

“Once our lawyers had experienced the difference using Orbital Witness makes, rolling it out across our real estate team was a no-brainer.”

Nick Kirby, Legal Director and Head of PropTech

Mishcon de Reya services an international community of clients and provides advice. Their work is cross-border, multi-jurisdictional and complex. They aim to use technology to deliver client services faster, better and more efficiently.

Nicholas Kirby specialises in commercial real estate work, dealing with investment acquisitions and sales for institutional and private clients, development work, management work and acting for both landlords and tenants. Nick was named as one of the top 10 most innovative lawyers in Europe by the Financial Times in 2019.

The challenge

“Our client was considering buying a high value site for development. Access to the site was vital, but there wasn’t a public road leading to it. Instead, the site was accessed by a private road spanning a large number of different properties. It would have been very tricky and time consuming to piece together the access rights to the site by looking at the individual title plans for each property. In addition, as use of the road would be changing due to the proposed development, we needed to be cautious.

It can be hard to demonstrate a multifaceted issue and its solution using static plans, emails and reports. This leads to information being lost in translation between lawyers, buyers and sellers, particularly on complex issues such as this.”

“We used Orbital Witness to virtually walk the client through the road and the different titles, proprietors and Private Rights of Way.”

Nick Kirby, Legal Director and Head of PropTech

Our solution

“We used Orbital Witness to determine how the Right of Way came about and who owned the land. Instead of reviewing six sets of Official Copy documents separately, we were able to quickly jump to points of information in the register, have data all in one place and visualise how the titles fitted together along the road. Through using Orbital Witness we soon realised the seller’s notes were incorrect. Using the programme, we were able to quickly spot a previously unidentified area of unregistered land and that part of the road fell into a different property not previously mentioned.

Over a conference call, we used Orbital Witness to walk the client through the issues, conducting a virtual site visit along the road and the different titles, proprietors and Private Rights of Way. This ensured our client understood the issues and how they needed to fix them before going ahead with acquiring the land. If we hadn’t used Orbital Witness during our due diligence, we wouldn’t have been able to offer this solution to the client.”

The result

“Orbital Witness enabled us to add significant value for our client by being more informed about a property and potential problems right at the outset, and to do that in a helpful, visual format. Once our lawyers had experienced the difference using Orbital Witness makes, rolling it out across our real estate team was a no-brainer.”