Beaumont draw up conveyancing battle plans

Robyn Hall

August 15, 2013

The Wakefield-based firm has a turnover of £3.5m and already employs around 65 staff. But it has set itself the challenge to become the biggest in the UK – going head-to-head with the likes of My Home Move and Countrywide Property Lawyers in what is already a super competitive market.

Partner and head of conveyancing at Beaumont Legal Nick Masheder said: “Naturally there are many factors to our expansion strategy.

“We are in the advanced stages of implementation with a wide spread of referral sources from all parts of the industry having already secured a number of high profile new providers that complement and bolster our current sources of work.

“Having averaged eighth position in the Land Registry number of transactions at the end of 2012 and having appeared in the top five on several occasions our projected volumes indicate these will rise substantially to current table-topping numbers and beyond within the next three years.

“Figures quoted by the Land Registry are for purchase transactions only and do not include sale transactions.”

myhomemove were sat in the top spot for purchase transactions at the end of 2012 with 14,258 transactions while Beaumont Legal finished the year in twelfth position with 3,793 transactions.

Dev Malley, group sales director at myhomemove, said: “There is no doubt that the strong are getting stronger in the conveyancing market as they have been able to invest into technology, quality and risk, training, sales support and service related resource.

“Consolidation in the market is gathering pace so the larger firms will grow as long as they have scalable models and strong introducer relationships in place. However it is almost impossible to achieve scalability, quality assurance, the right people infrastructure, technology solutions and great sustainable service overnight.”

Whereas myhomemove has recruited over 100 people this year and is continuing to recruit to enable it to meet its own goal of trebling in size over three years Beaumont Legal is looking to recruit 15 solicitors, 10 legal secretaries and 10 legal assistants to join them at their headquarters in Wakefield.

Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner at Goldsmith Williams, said that with the exclusion of one or two major players conveyancing was a largely a cottage industry.

He said: “The conveyancing industry is extremely fragmented. The two largest firms, myhomemove and Countrywide Property Laweyrs have only around a 3% market share each. To surpass either of these firms would involve a possible merger and acceptance onto the some of the largest panels in the UK.”

Goldsmith, who is also chairman of the industry’s trade body the Conveyancing Association, said that Beaumont Legal were not currently members – a decision which appears to run counter to their ambitions.

But Masheder said: “We’re aware of the Conveyancing Association and have great respect for it. Although we have not made any move to join it to date, it is something we are likely to consider as our business plan gathers momentum.”

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