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Simplify

Simplify

Invested
August 2014

Sector
Business Services

Headquarters
London, UK

Region
United Kingdom

Business
UK Legal services group

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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

  • Merged with Palamon portfolio company QualitySolicitors, the largest UK legal services franchise with almost 100 member firms and combined revenue of £200 million.
  • Institutionalised management: Appointed David Grossman, former CEO of BT Expedite, as Group Chief Executive. Appointed Stephen Warshaw as Chairman.  Stephen was the Chairman of Palamon portfolio company Cambridge Education Group, Chairman of legal technology provider Iris Software, and has held numerous senior executive positions in Reed Elsevier.
  • Acquired the probate business and “named administrator” portfolio of wills from a large UK bank.

Today

Simplify is the UK’s largest consumer legal service provider and continues to gain market share in this space.