The conveyancing IT crash plaguing the Simplify Group of companies continues into its ninth day; however there is an update for agents and others interfacing with the affected firms.
The affected companies are Premier Property Lawyers, JS Law, DC Law and Advantage Property Lawyers.
A detailed note from the industry regulator the Council for Licensed Conveyancers makes clear that Simplify Group continues to work around the clock to minimise the effect of the IT crisis first reported on November 7 - although it remains uncertain even now how the crisis came about.
A number of key issues are addressed in the latest update from the CLC, which has visited the Simplify offices to see the situation at first hand:
- the security of client funds was not compromised in the incident;
- all contracted completions due to take place last week, on November 8 to 12 inclusive, completed successfully;
- Simplify remains unable to say when systems will be restored fully and normal business will resume;
- Simplify cannot currently provide individual clients with rapid updates on the progress of their specific transactions;
- it is contacting clients in order of priority based on whether completions or exchanges are scheduled for the coming days or further into the future;
- it has moved beyond completing already-exchanged transactions to working on exchange contracts on files ready to exchange and complete;
- with regard to other conveyancers, Simplify clients involved in the incident who move to a rival company will not be charged for work already completed by Simplify and - once available - land searches already completed for these clients may be transferred to the new conveyancer.
The CLC statement also offers two other key statements:
“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 of time” and…
“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.”
You can see the full CLC statement here.