UPDATED Information for clients of Premier Property Lawyers, JS Law, DC Law and Advantage Property Lawyers

16 November, 2021

22 November 2021

The above conveyancing firms are all part of the Simplify group and were the subject of a security incident late on 7th November. That incident was reported by Simplify to the CLC as the regulator of those firms early on 8th November.

Since then, the CLC has been monitoring the incident closely. We have received assurances about the steps that the firms are taking to protect their clients’ interests by safeguarding client money and working to progress transactions that were under way when the incident occurred, wherever possible.

We have been assured by Simplify that the security of client funds was not compromised in the incident. We have also been assured that all contracted completions due to take place since the incident began have been completed successfully.

The CLC is also closely monitoring the operations of the involved firms and have set out our expectations that Simplify ensures its clients’ interests are being protected and any disruption to individual clients and chains of house sales and purchases is being contained as far as possible.

Next steps

The nature of the incident means that systems must be restored carefully to ensure their security and to protect the firms’ clients. The cautious approach needed will continue to shape the operations of the involved firms and will inevitably delay some transactions.

Simplify have informed the CLC today that most staff are now able to work on the firms’ core systems and continue to contact clients. Work remains to be done in the background and the CLC continues to monitor the recovery closely to ensure that clients’ interests are protected.

What should Simplify’s clients do now?

Simplify has told the CLC that it is contacting its clients in order of priority based on whether completions or exchanges are scheduled for the coming days or further into the future. The numbers of clients that can be contacted and assisted will be much greater than last week.

If you have exchanged contracts, Simplify says that your conveyancer will be able to complete the transaction and should be in touch with you soon if they have not been already. If you prefer to move to a different conveyancer you are free to do so, but please be aware that this could result in the transaction taking a longer period.

Clients who have not yet exchanged contracts with their seller or buyer must consider whether to progress their transactions with their current conveyancer or to instruct another. 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. The CLC expects Simplify’s conveyancers to set this out clearly for each client.

FAQs

Will I have to pay for the conveyancing work already done?

Simplify have confirmed that its clients involved in the incident who move to another conveyancer will not be charged for the work already completed by Simplify. In addition, once they are available, land searches already completed for these clients will be transferred to the newly appointed conveyancer.

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