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Conveyancing Crash - update on how to contact affected brands

There’s been an update this morning on the dramatic systems crash that has hit the conveyancing services operated by the Simplify Group - a problem that has affected many agents’ completions.

Many agents have been unable to contact Simplify’s brands since Monday when a widespread IT outage took services offline.

A statement this morning from Simplify says: "Following the security incident Simplify experienced involving some IT systems, we have been working around the clock to resolve the issue and are pleased to confirm we have made significant progress. We have now restored systems sufficiently to be able to process payments to enable clients to move. We have been working through the night on the backlog and over the coming hours will continue to proactively contact clients who are scheduled to complete. We will provide further updates as we continue to make positive progress. Thank you for your ongoing support."

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And a statement from the Council for Licensed Conveyancers says:

"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."

In addition, the Bold Legal Group's Rob Hailstone has kindly offered to keep EAT readers updated via comments at the bottom of this article. 

 

EAT was informed by an agent yesterday after of a long-term problem with  the Premier Property Lawyers website which had been offline for some hours; this service is a subsidiary of Simplify, which describes itself as this country’s largest online conveyancing service.

On the individual company websites there was a message, during part of Monday and much of Tuesday, reading:  

“We are working to resolve an ongoing systems outage involving multiple systems. We regret that we are not operating as normal. If you are requesting a quotation for conveyancing, please continue to complete the form on site and a quote advisor will be in contact with your quote in due course. If you are an existing client, please note that we are prioritising speaking with clients who are due to complete today.”

And the My Home Move Twitter feed carried this message on Monday:

“Unfortunately, we are experiencing a system outage, and both our eWay and website are currently down. Our engineers are working hard to correct this & get everything up and running again. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will update as soon as the issue is resolved.”

Yesterday morning, My Home Move followed up with this…:

“We are still working hard to resolve the ongoing systems outage and regret that we are not yet operating as normal. Please click the link https://tinyurl.com/44udx7d3 to complete the online form so that we can prioritise our responses to you.”

And yesterday afternoon there was this tweet…:

“We are working non-stop to restore systems and we recognise this could be a difficult time for clients. Our priority is to help customers exchange/complete on time. Please click the link https://tinyurl.com/sjhn5ywx to help us. We are doing all we can. Thank you for your patience.”

  • Rob Hailstone

    This has the potential to disrupt not only the transactions being dealt with directly by the Simplify brands but also the transactions in any chain they are involved in. To see a list of the Simplify brands, visit the Simplify website, click on About Simplify, and then, click on Brands.

    At the time of posting this comment we are waiting to receive an official update from Simplify, and possibly a comment from their regulator, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. I will endeavour to keep the EAT readers updated throughout the day.

  • Rob Hailstone

    From the Council of Licensed Conveyancers

    Simplify Group (including Premier Property Lawyers) system outages
    10 November, 2021

    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.

  • Rob Hailstone

    From Simplify:

    "Following the security incident Simplify experienced involving some IT systems, we have been working around the clock to resolve the issue and are pleased to confirm we have made significant progress.

    We have now restored systems sufficiently to be able to process payments to enable clients to move. We have been working through the night on the backlog and over the coming hours will continue to proactively contact clients who are scheduled to complete.

    We will provide further updates as we continue to make positive progress.

    Thank you for your ongoing support."

  • Algarve  Investor

    Could set e-conveyancing back by quite some years - which is a shame, given that seems to be the future and has many upsides.

  • Vilesh Rew

    Any further updates?

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    Use a local solicitor not a company with a load of clerks to get a kick back

  • Vilesh Rew

    Thanks, Jan. Very helpful.

  • Samantha  imray

    Not very helpful Jan and actually not true.

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