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"When I said I wanted a roof over my head, I didn't mean a car roof."


Simpson Millar has apologised after it closed its conveyancing department, causing furious clients to complain that they had been abandoned by the firm.

Stressed clients went online to vent their frustrations, alleging that the firm had ignored them, putting their property sales and purchases at risk of falling through.


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A hair-tearing experience - making even the estate agents look good.


Simpson Millar announced at the start of August that it would close a number of its private client departments, including conveyancing, to focus on its "growth" areas (Injury, Public Law and Family Law). The firm has now completed an agreement to outsource its property services to 'Conveyancing Expert Limited', and transferred 16 of its staff to the conveyancing provider. 

Simpson Millar’s CEO, Greg Cox, acknowledged that “over the last few weeks, we have seen the service provided to some of our conveyancing clients dip below our usual high standards. This is a result of circumstances beyond our control, which meant that we had to prioritise the transactions our teams worked on." 

“While I should stress that during the same period, we have helped hundreds of other clients successfully move home, the agreement with Conveyancing Expert will help get us back to providing a high standard of service for all of our remaining conveyancing clients," said Cox.

He added: “We understand that buying or selling a home is an extremely important milestone in a person’s life. We are very sorry to those clients, and to any fellow professionals, who might have been affected whilst we addressed the unforeseen issues. We are grateful to those clients who have had to bear with us." 

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Comments

Rk 23 September 22 10:58

'Dip below our high standards' - what a joke. I am one of these customers who had been horribly let down by Simpson Millar and I can confirm they definitely did not help hundreds of people move during this time. Out of their 35 Conveyancing team listed online - one day in August when I visited their London office in desperation to talk to someone I was told 3 of those Conveyancers were online the rest of the team had left. This company is irresponsible and has caused a lot of people to lose their homes and money. Can Greg Cox answer how these customers will be reimbursed or helped? 

Anonymous 23 September 22 15:14

Their Google strapline is great - "Simpson Millar The Open Lawyers"...  lol 

Homeless 24 September 22 13:14

No other company would get away with not telling their clients in advance? Not only have they done this but with no agreement or consultation with clients they have handed sensitive and personal information - given to them under contract - in trust, to a third party?There has been no transparency in what they have told their clients about this. They are still telling clients their cases are ‘reallocated’ with no mention of another organisation. A company restructure would have taken months to plan, there is no excuse for their lack of transparency. They should have managed and downscaled their client list closing it to new business months ago. It seems that their average Conveyancing turnaround is 5 months (so they were really ineffectual anyway) but they have agreed and signed service contracts with clients throughout this time. This in itself has an air of dishonesty about it. As of Weds I am homeless due to their maladministration. They are entirely responsible for this, their solicitor was made aware of circumstances, but paid no heed to deadlines we could not change. I will be seeking the SRA closing ALL of their operations after breaching their ‘Principles’ and ‘Data Processing’ law. No one could have any confidence or trust in a law firm that behaves with zero ethics. They drag the whole of the profession into disrepute.

Homeless 2 children 26 September 22 18:33

The emotional distress this has caused. Its inhumane. Me and my children will be homeless by this time friday and still no returned call or apology despite promises. 3 different conveyancers since 31st August. Each one has left!! One of them was a locum who told me she had been advised by her consultancy firm to 'not touch another case of Simpson Millars' I have cried to the switchboard and begged. They are also at their wits end and no doubt will have trauma through having to deal with clients like myself who see no way through. Its wholly irresponsible and they need to be held accountable. While Greg Cox is sat comfortably in his big house with no thought for people like myself who will be sat in the local housing office on Friday!! 

anon 26 September 22 20:40

Those who run this firm think they can do whatever they like and have done for years. I hope every single employee and every single client with a valid complaint reports them and then all the regulators and authorities take it seriously for once and carry out a forensic examinations of files, documents, computers and accounts.  

K Thornton 28 September 22 22:38

Never, ever use this firm. Its taken 6 months to complete the sale of my flat with no chain. They don't read their own forms, take pride in the fact they'll never respond to you or your buyer, their care team don't respond. I got a new conveyancer 5 days before the sale fell through and she saved it but the toll on me has been severe.

I don't understand how this company is allowed to operate. Is there no oversight or accountability for law firms? No one should go through what their clients go through.... and then have them take their full fee! Criminal neglect. Cox makes mega bucks, his staff are paid peanuts, his clients can die for all he cares. 

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