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The fallout resulting from a systems’ crash eleven days ago at high-volume discount conveyancing operator Simplify Group continues. The episode is causing chaos for associated firms Premier Property Lawyers, JS Law, DC Law and Advantage Property Lawyers, which are recommended to homebuyers by agents including Purplebricks, Yopa, Strike, and Fine & Country.
And with these firms accounting for around one in five conveyancing transactions in the UK, the knock-on effect to law firms involved in conveyancing chains with Simplify Group customers has been immense.
No end in sight
There is currently no indication as to when they expect their systems to be up and running again. They say they have prioritised customers who have already exchanged contracts, but the way forward remains unclear for others. Many are taking to social media to vent their frustration, and in a statement, regulator the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) commented:
“Clients who have not yet exchanged contracts with their seller or buyer must consider whether to wait to progress their transactions when Simplify’s systems are running again or whether to instruct a different conveyancer. The limited access Simplify currently has to transaction files means that they cannot currently provide files to another conveyancer. We are pressing Simplify to address this. This could mean that you would need to start from the beginning, and this may result in your transaction taking longer. You should consider how far advanced your transaction is – how much work has already been done on it – when you make your decision.”
BLB clients largely unaffected
BLB Partner, Stephen Bishop, said:
“This will be a particularly worrying time not only for clients of the Simplify Group, but also those clients indirectly affected, due to either purchasing from or selling to parties who are represented by Simplify Group conveyancing firms. Here at BLB Solicitors, we are fortunate in that very few of our transactions have been indirectly delayed as a result, but please do contact your conveyancer if you have any concerns. We also welcome enquiries from clients of Simplify Group firms who would like to discuss whether or not to instruct another conveyancer.”