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Simplify

Simplify

Invested
August 2014

Sector
Business Services

Headquarters
Leicester, UK

Region
United Kingdom

Business
Leading provider of conveyancing services

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Business at time of investment

Simplify was a newly branded legal services group comprising of Move with Us, DC Law, and Chorus Law which have combined turnover of approx. £60 million.  Move with Us is the UK’s largest conveyancing panel management company.  DC Law is a fast-growing conveyancing “factory” processing conveyancing instructions.  Chorus Law is the UK’s largest probate service provider.

Investment rationale

Simplify operates in the UK consumer legal services market which is estimated to generate more than £10 billion in fees for law firms but is highly fragmented with over 10,000 law firms competing.  The UK legal services industry is facing unprecedented challenges as consumers increasingly expect greater choice and control, while regulatory changes are putting pressure on sub-scale providers. Against this backdrop, Palamon believes that value will accrue to players who have the scale to operate efficiently while meeting the evolving customer expectations..  The 2007 Legal Services Act (“LSA”), October 2011, permitted legal services to be offered by non-lawyer owned entities which Palamon believes will lead to a more concentrated market structure.  Simplify is the UK’s largest consumer legal service provider with an opportunity to increase market share both organically and through M&A.

Value creation

  • Strengthened management team: Appointed David Grossman (former CEO of BT Expedite) as Chief Executive and Stephen Warshaw as Chairman.
  • Consolidated market: Merged with Palamon portfolio company QualitySolicitors, the largest UK legal services franchise, and acquired conveyancing factory JS Law.
  • Transformational M&A: Completed the acquisition and merger of My Home Move, in a transaction valued at £175 million.  The combined entity is the #1 player both in the traditional market and in the fast-growing online market with:
    • Best-in-class technology-led service proposition
    • Highly diversified customer and channel mix, coupled with a distributed national footprint
    • Established M&A track record in a highly fragmented and consolidating market

Today

Simplify is the UK’s largest provider of conveyancing legal services, bigger than the next five players combined, processing more than 130,000 conveyancing cases per year.