Conveyancer Spotlight – Gordons Property Lawyers
Based in Maidenhead, Gordons Property Lawyers Ltd (GPL) are one of the few specialist practices in the UK who are able to deal with high volumes of remortgage transactions.
Established in 1998, the company has grown to over 120 employees, with each team split into a series of specialist departments to cover each aspect of a property transaction.
GPL’s Key Information
Location – Maidenhead
Years in business – 20
Expertise – Remortgages, Property Sales, Property Purchases, New Build Purchases, Specialist Lending, Probate Sale
Accreditations – Conveyancing Quality Standard, Lexcel Practice Management Standard, ISO 27001, Legal Eye Quality Standard
Awards – ESTAS: Best Conveyancer in the County of Berkshire’ , ‘Best in Region – South’ ‘Bronze in Best National Group’ Law Firm Services Awards: ‘Highly Commended Direct Conveyancing Firm of the Year’
Transactions for Value – In the top 400 firms
– The remortgage platform is divided into various teams responsible for delivering the remortgage process::The Pre-Offer team processs the instructions received from the various clients and introducers, open the case file and obtain copies of the HMLR title documents
– The Technical team undertake legal title checks and act as a point of referral for technical queries throughout the transaction. The Technical team will also undertake a final checking process prior to completion
– The Progression team process the mortgage offer and communicate with any third parties in order to move the case to completion.
– Case handlers to deal with the day to day conduct of the transaction and are the main point of contact for the customer and their broker
– Post Completion and the Scheduling team to ensure formalities are dealt with after completion
– Customer Service Team operate the call centre taking calls from customers, clients, brokers and solicitors providing guidance on the process and status of the case
Whilst staff are divided in their dedication to a particular aspect of the process, the core values are shared throughout the firm, with efficiency, communication and professionalism prioritised by each member of the team.
Paul Norris – Managing Director
Kerry Davies – Customer Experience Director
Jo McArthur – Management Accountant
Richard Neville – Business Analyst
Sharon Quarterman – HR Manager
2017 was a memorable year for GPL seeing them secure four awards for their commitment to and achievements within the conveyancing market.
Though most firms will strive to encase these values within each transaction, few will manage to realise if they have indeed done so. Of course, the one thing which can signal to a firm the high quality of their service is client opinion, and it’s this which GPL received in the form of three ESTAS awards.
Based purely on the feedback of consumers, the ESTAS Conveyancer Awards highlight firms who have delivered a high level of customer service throughout the home moving process.
As well as receiving the award for ‘Best Conveyancer in the County of Berkshire’, GPL also secured the award for ‘Best in Region – South’ and Bronze in Best National Group.
2017 also saw the firm was shortlisted in the prestigious Law Firm Services Awards, and was awarded ‘Highly Commended Direct Conveyancing Firm of the Year’.
Whilst it’s clear that 2017 was a big year, the firm’s track record is testament to the strong position they’ve gained within the market.
In 2015, GPL joined forces with Berkshire Community Foundation and Give a Child a Chance through their Social Committee. Demonstrating their passion for the local community, the firm hosted fundraising events to back these important causes.
In addition to the specialist team and progressive internal structure, the firm’s achievements are supported by its accreditations and professional memberships.
Not only do these demonstrate to the consumer that the trusted firm has successfully achieved a certain standard, it promotes a healthy business culture and professional attitude among team members.
As well as the Lexcel Accreditation, the firm also possesses the Conveyancing Quality Standard from the Law Society. Demonstrating their commitment to delivering high standards, the mark also demonstrates the firm’s positive community attitude, working with other conveyancing firms to minimise risk and prevent fraud.
This is also reflected in their ISO accreditations, with the firm holding both ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 27001. Whilst the assessment process for both of these is rigorous, they’re vitally important for firms who regularly deal with large amount of personal information.
What to expect in 2018 from GPL?
GPL have committed to delivering the single most significant project in its 20 year history in 2018. With the strategic focus on the need to deliver a process that gets the customer to completion as quickly, as painlessly and with as much communication as possible, GPL are redesigning their end to end customer journey. To support the delivery of this new process, the firm have made a substantial financial investment to develop a bespoke software solution. Working with a software design house, Jellyhaus, the new software will enable GPL to automate processes thereby removing the need for manual administrative tasks, removing inefficiencies from the process and enabling the Gordy’s to focus on proactive communication. Starting with the fees assist remortgage service offering, the 12 month project will work through the private remortgage offering and then onto the transactional provision. The process redesign will enable GPL to incorporate GDPR best practice along with offering a more robust defence against cyber crime, data fraud and money laundering.
GPL’s market predictions for 2018
The remortgage market has faced up to the challenges of Brexit, higher rates of SDLT on second properties which has had a significant impact in buy to let market and MMR. According to the Council of Mortgage lenders this was “the biggest set of reforms to regulation since residential mortgages became subject to statutory regulation in 2004”.
Although it is suggested that the ramifications of MMR will continue to be felt for some time, there is evidence that buy to let investors and portfolio businesses have adjusted to the changes in different ways. For some this has heralded a move north where properties can be added to portfolios at a considerably lower investment cost which in turn will have an impact on values in the property market.
The Help to Buy initiative from the Government has generated opportunity for first time buyers. Whilst this is welcomed, this has had an impact on the second-hand market reducing volume and property values in some areas. Whether this makes property more affordable for first time and existing property owners remains to be seen.
Finally, with a threat of interest rates rising now clearly on the horizon, it will not be long before a generation of property owners will face the prospect of household budgets stressed further as a consequence.
So in summary, whilst predictions for the near future remain positive, careful navigation is required to avoid what could be choppy waters ahead.