Conveyancing firms in the Simplify Group, hit by a massive systems crash for much of this week, say they are working around the clock to help agents and their clients.
Simplify Group’s conveyancing brands include Simplify, Move with Us, My Home Move Conveyancing, Premier Property Lawyers, DC Law, and JS Law; their websites and many of their online systems have been down since Monday.
There is still no news on what caused the crisis, which is now in its fifth day. This has inevitably led to speculation in the conveyancing, IT and agency worlds, with some suggesting it was a deliberate hack.
The issue has affected many agents, and not just those directly with vendors and buyers using Simplify: those using rival conveyancers but who had Simplify clients in the chains are also subject to delays.
The latest message on the Simplify brand company websites is:
“We have now restored IT systems sufficiently to enable clients to move. The good news is that almost all contracted transactions with a fixed completion date are up to date.
“We have been working through the night and will continue to proactively contact clients who are scheduled to complete. If we have not already contacted you, please help us by completing the form here so that we can prioritise our response.
“We would assure you that we have been working round the clock to restore our operations. This includes carefully bringing systems online as part of a secure phased approach and finding workarounds to complete transactions safely.
“At all times we have been acting in the best interests of our clients and understand how challenging this situation has been for them.”
And the Council for Licensed Conveyancers is displaying this message:
“We are advised by the Simplify Group that following preliminary investigation of systems outages, it is now aware that certain parts of its business (including Premier Property Lawyers), have been affected by a security incident involving some IT systems.
“The Simplify Group responded immediately upon discovery of the incident by engaging a number of third-party cyber specialists to fully restore systems, find ways to support clients’ property transactions and undertake a thorough investigation to gain a fuller understanding of the incident.
“The Simplify Group have therefore taken proactive steps to contain the incident, including by taking a number of their systems offline as a precautionary measure. We understand the Simplify Group has also taken steps to report the incident to relevant authorities and to contact its clients and partners.
“The current issues relate to the temporary inability to access some of the IT systems, which has regrettably prevented the completion of some transactions. The Simplify Group are working hard to find further solutions and provide all the support it can to its clients and partners at this difficult time.
“Whist the recovery effort is underway, any clients who are unable to contact their conveyancer via the usual channels may wish to complete a web contact form via THIS LINK which will allow Simplify to make direct contact.”