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New online service aims to 'take the conveyancing market by storm'

31 May 2011

In-Deed, the conveyancing service launched by Rightmove’s founder Harry Hill, has promised to “take the conveyancing market by storm”.

The new service went live last week with two firms: five-partner Stockport-based O’Neill Patient and nine-partner firm Breeze and Wyles, headquartered in Hertford, with branch offices in Bishop Stortford, Enfield and Waltham Cross.

A third firm, Grindeys, has already been approved on the panel but has not yet officially started working for In-Deed. The firm has ten partners and operates through four offices in Stoke-on-Trent and Stone, Staffordshire. Three more are set to join the panel by Christmas.

In-Deed co-founder Peter Gordon, a former executive with venture capitalist 3i, confirmed that In-Deed was working towards a stock exchange listing with a view to floating on AIM within a month.

Gordon also said In-Deed would consider taking a share in the capital of panel firms if there was potential to create further opportunities for growth.

Panel firms were selected on the basis of the quality of their legal processes, customer ethos and ability to absorb volume business, according to Gordon, who says Lexcel and other quality marks such as the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme were not among the criteria used. Typically homebuyers will pay between £650 and £750, including £200 to In-Deed as an introducer pledging a certain service level. This includes a secure online interface, or ‘dashboard’, allowing clients to track the progress of their case and interact with their lawyer.

The service comes with a price guarantee on a ‘no completion, no fee’ basis and lawyers also commit to updating clients every 48 hours – including, where applicable, reasons why there is nothing new to report.

Panel members do not pay a referral fee but firms will earn more out of the arrangement than they would typically get for being a panel law firm for a lender, according to Gordon, who says quality of service rather than price is the main driver for selling In-Deed.

Hill founded Rightmove in 2000 and left the online estate agent business in 2005. He was also chief executive of Countrywide, the former estate agency arm of Nationwide, which he bought from the building society in 1994 for £1.

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Procedures Conveyancing