Law firm makes seven-figure investment in proptech business

Jaggard: It’s our duty to up our game

Consumer law firm Taylor Rose MW has made a “seven-figure investment” in a proptech business which helps home movers change addresses.

Adrian Jaggard, chief executive of Taylor Rose MW, said this was the firm’s first investment in a tech company and, although there was “nothing else in the pipeline” at the moment, similar investments were possible in the future.

Mr Jaggard said the law firm, one of the three biggest conveyancers in terms of transactions, had to be “constantly looking out for new technologies that emerge” in a rapidly changing technological world.

“If we look at our technological capability compared to our peers, it may be good, but if we look outside our industry to banks and financial services, they have a much more advanced offering. It’s our duty to up our game.”

SlothMove, founded three years ago in Sheffield, aims to reduce the points of contact people make to change their details after moving into a new property from an average of over 21 to only one, saving the average home mover an estimated 12 hours.

The size of the investment and percentage stake Taylor Rose has acquired have not been released.

SlothMove, founded three years ago in Sheffield, has 3,500 active monthly users. It allows users to change their details across hundreds of businesses, including loyalty programmes, utility providers, council tax, water and many more in one quick process.

The investment will be used to develop its technology, add 50 more members of staff to its existing team of 10 and reach further commercial partnerships.

Meanwhile, Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), which processes 80% of conveyancing completions in Australia entirely online, has announced the development of a new payment scheme in the UK, PEXA Pay.

PEXA announced earlier this year that it was “taking a step-by-step approach” to introducing online conveyancing to the UK, beginning with a remortgage platform in September.

The company said the platform and payments scheme had been successfully tested with seven mortgage lenders and further testing would take place in October, as agreed with the Bank of England, the settlement agent for PEXA Pay.

PEXA has also announced a partnership with ClearBank, a new clearing bank launched in 2017, to allow for disbursement of funds to transaction accounts held with lenders not already integrated with PEXA’s own platform.

James Bawa, chief executive of PEXA UK, commented: “PEXA’s investment into creating an entirely new payments scheme highlights the scale of our commitment to transforming the UK’s remortgage process, and I am thankful for the support of the Bank of England as we have built it.”

In a separate development, blockchain network Coadjute has announced that conveyancing panel management service TPS (Team Property Services) Group has joined its network.

Coadjute aims to provide the “missing link” in conveyancing transactions by connecting conveyancers with estate agents and mortgage lenders and allowing them to share progress updates, property information, digital identities and payments.

Established more than 20 years ago, Dorset-based TPS has been involved in more than 100,000 home moves, working with hundreds of independent estate agencies and law firms.

Steve Dawkins, chief relationship officer at Coadjute, said: “By collaborating with leading conveyancing panel management providers such as TPS, Coadjute will deliver to estate agents and conveyancers an accelerated process with significantly less administration.

“Our encrypted network will enable them to securely share information with ease and provide even greater transparency and efficiency for their customers.”

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