Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
November/December 2003, by Delia Venables

Another in the series on publishers, movers and shakers online

The Jordans Group
by Nicola Webb and Philip Wilmott

Jordans is one of the UK's leading professional services businesses: our strength lies in the range of services we offer. Some people know us as the leading independent law publisher and training provider in the UK; or the market leader in company formations; or leading providers of conveyancing and company searches and business information. The company was founded in 1863 in Bristol and now operates nationally (Bristol, London, Edinburgh and Cardiff), as well as internationally (British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Gibraltar, and the Channel islands). The Group comprises several autonomous but linked companies: Jordans Limited (JL), Jordan Publishing Limited (JPL), and Oswalds - the trading name for Jordans (Scotland) Limited.

One thing the Group has in common is its early commitment to the online provision of its services. For example, Jordans Limited advised Companies House on its transfer to electronic filing in 1998 and was one of the first formations agents to be authorised to form companies electronically in 2001. Since then, the Group has launched a number of successful online products and those outlined below are just some of the key services it provides.

Jordans Limited

Jordans Limited's website is at www.jordans.co.uk.

Incorporator is JL's online incorporation module designed for users with volume formation needs (principally solicitors and accountants in private practice and in-house). There are no subscription charges; payment is by account number, with the price per formation charged being dependent on the annual volume. It was first launched in 1999 and there are now over 500 active users. The data capture screens are ordered in a logical process with useful aids like search and address look-up features. Users can choose from a range of Memorandum & Articles and we can also customise the software to include the user's own precedents, if preferred. The service is fully electronic, with printed forms and registers supplied (which can be stored electronically to minimise paper production). Orders are confirmed online and users are notified by email once their company has been incorporated (usually within 3-4 hours, depending on Companies House but always guaranteed within 24 hours).

PCSec is stand-alone PC-based software which provides an annual company secretarial service for multiple users (mainly company secretaries, solicitors and accountants). Launched in 1995, it now has over 400 active users. The software produces all the statutory documentation automatically, including forms, minutes, resolutions and notices to effect corporate changes, as well as providing guidance checklists and reminders of time critical events. It creates and maintains the statutory Registers automatically and statutory forms can be filed electronically.

JordanWatch is a leading online business information product. Users can search through the complete Companies Index of over 2 million records and access basic company details (address, telephone, turnover, number of employees and more) all at no cost.

Users wanting more information can buy online company profiles (analysed reports showing trends and performance levels over a number of years). Alternatively, they can order a company search, which is prepared by JL's team of specialists in Cardiff and emailed (or faxed/posted if preferred) in a matter of hours. Payment is either by credit card or by account and password for regular users.

Jordans Property is the conveyancing support services business within JL. It offers property-related searches and reports online and is the fastest-growing area of online business within the Group. The website provides simplicity and ease of use for online services, including various environmental reports, available within hours, which incorporate a professional opinion from one of the UK's leading firms of Chartered environmental surveyors; planning reports providing land use policies, planning applications and development proposals within the surrounding area; drainage searches and Personal Local Authority searches.

Jordan Publishing Limited

Jordan Publishing publishes under two separate imprints of Jordans and Family Law, and produces a diverse range of publications and conferences that can take you from company formation to family breakdown. As publishers of distinguished works such as Gore-Browne on Companies, Children Law and Practice, Family Court Practice (Red Book) and the Family Law journal and Family Law Reports, Jordan Publishing has a wealth of material being developed for online provision.

Law Reports Online were launched in 2000 and host the full archive of our specialist law reports, including the Family Law, Bankruptcy and Personal Insolvency, and Immigration and Nationality Law Reports. As well as hosting the entire archive, Law Reports Online publishes the latest cases as soon as they have been prepared, often well in advance of the printed report. Free trials are available.

Free Family Law Resources provides two free online resources, the Family Law Online Index and Family Law Update. The former provides key details on all Articles, In Practice items and Case Reports published in Family Law since 1996. The Family Law Update service contains summaries of cases, legislation and practice developments of interest to family lawyers.

New Product Development: building on the success of the book comes the online version of Jordans Civil Court Service (Brown Book), now firmly established as one of the most widely used civil procedure texts. The online version is due to be launched in Spring 2004.

Journals Online: Family Law and Child and Family Law Quarterly (CFLQ) will soon be available online via journals aggregator, Ingenta. With over 5000 journals already available through Ingenta, the service will offer full text searching and downloading of the latest Family Law and CFLQ articles. It also allows non-subscribing customers to download journals on a pay-per-view basis. Ingenta will host all new issues, plus 2003 back issues. More details will be available from 2004.

Oswalds

Oswalds, www.oswalds.co.uk, provide a comprehensive company search and formation service which includes Sasine registry and land registry searches, company information and formation, shelf companies, conveyancing and conveyancing support services in Scotland.

Nicola Webb is a Marketing Consultant, specialising in the B2B market and currently advising Jordans Limited. Philip Wilmott is Electronic Product Manager of Jordan Publishing Limited. Emails: nicola_webb@jordans.co.uk and philip_wilmott@jordanpublishing.co.uk

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