Palamon Capital Partners, owner of QualitySolicitors, to acquire a controlling stake in Simplify legal group
“Our investment in Simplify is a clear statement of our ambition to build a national leader in UK consumer legal services with unparalleled points of access. The scale and technological expertise of Simplify coupled with the national high street coverage and consumer reach of QualitySolicitors will provide multiple growth opportunities for both companies.” says Daan Knottenbelt, Partner at Palamon Capital Partners.
Palamon Capital Partners (“Palamon”), a pan-European growth investor, has increased its commitment to the legal sector by agreeing to acquire a majority interest in The Simplify Group (“Simplify”), a newly branded legal group comprising Move with Us and DC Law, leaders in conveyancing, and the probate specialist Chorus Law. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Palamon’s investment in Simplify underlines its strategy to build the UK’s largest legal services provider, with multiple routes to market. The Firm believes that changes in the UK legal market have created a significant opportunity to achieve this and embarked on its strategy in 2011 by investing in QualitySolicitors, the largest high street legal brand in the UK with a nationwide network of 100 quality-checked partner firms in 100 locations together handling more than £200 million of legal work per year.
Palamon believes this transaction will provide significant growth opportunities for both QualitySolicitors and Simplify, which have complementary market positions, service models and skills. QualitySolicitors’ members can benefit from additional legal work and the sophisticated technology that Simplify brings. Simplify will obtain access to an expanded network of high street law firms and a broader range of legal services. The management teams of Simplify and QualitySolicitors will stay in place to lead their existing businesses and further details of how the companies will work together will be disclosed at a later stage.
Daan Knottenbelt, Partner at Palamon, said “Our investment in Simplify is a clear statement of our ambition to build a national leader in UK consumer legal services with unparalleled points of access. The scale and technological expertise of Simplify coupled with the national high street coverage and consumer reach of QualitySolicitors will provide multiple growth opportunities for both companies.”
Eddie Ross, Chief Executive of QualitySolicitors, said “We are excited about the opportunities that Simplify will bring to our growing network of partner firms. QS is already a national leader in terms of conveyancing volume and by working with Simplify we will consolidate that position for our firms. The technology expertise of Simplify will enhance our innovative online customer platform, now being developed for the network. At the same time, the scale of the QS network will provide a broader range of legal services to Simplify customers.”
Grant Mckerron, Chairman at Simplify, said “Simplify is committed to building a platform that offers greater choice and control to the consumer. Whilst we are market leaders in two segments, our research shows that the majority of people using our website are seeking additional legal services not yet provided by the Group. Working with QualitySolicitors will broaden the services we offer and help meet that unserved demand. We are excited about the significant opportunities that will arise from working together.”
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Notes to editors
About The Simplify Group
The Simplify Group is a newly branded legal services group comprising Move with Us (est. 1997), DC Law (est. 2011) and Chorus Law (est. 1989), which have combined turnover of approximately £60 million. Move with Us is one of the largest panel management conveyancing companies, with a network of over 1200 independent Estate Agents across the country and panel manages over 50,000 conveyancing instructions each year. They are a significant property services business working with new homes developers, lenders and estate administrators. Chorus Law is the UK’s largest specialist probate provider, which delivers end-to-end probate and estates administration services. DC Law is top 20 by volume conveyancing producers.
About Palamon Capital Partners
Palamon Capital Partners, LP is an independent private equity partnership founded in 1999, which is focused on providing equity for European growth services companies. Palamon originates, executes and manages investments on a pan-European basis, with a particular focus on the UK, Germany, Benelux, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The Firm targets investments in companies where it can be the lead private equity provider and where it can provide strategic direction and partner with management to help build equity value. The Firm manages funds with €1.3 billion of equity capital for investment.
For more information on Palamon refer to www.palamon.com.
- Launched in 2010, QualitySolicitors is a group of law firms across the country working as part of the QualitySolicitors brand. Only one firm per local area is selected to become a QualitySolicitors partner. Customer feedback forms an integral part of the selection process.
- QualitySolicitors’ national network of lawyers consists of over 100 branches across England and Wales.
- QualitySolicitors lawyers are experts in their fields dealing with both consumer and SME legal matters. QualitySolicitors offers a personal, local service but with the assurance of a recognised national brand.
- QualitySolicitors’ website address is www.qualitysolicitors.com
- In 2011 QualitySolicitors secured equity investment from Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity house with a £700m fund.