Veyo failure a slow motion car crash
My Home Move group sales director Dev Malle has described the failure of electronic conveyancing system Veyo as a “slow motion car crash”.
The Law Society-backed system was developed by Legal Practice Technologies with the help of global IT company Mastek and launched on 26 May with 80 firms. It was designed to bring together conveyancing processes, checks and documentation onto one platform.
My Home Move chief executive Doug Crawford, who was speaking at the conveyancer’s annual conference in May, predicted Veyo to fail primarily because the Law Society doesn’t understand its customers and members.
And last Thursday his prediction came true as the Law Society and Mastek agreed to halt further investment in the venture which was never rolled out nationally.
The Law Society invested £600,000 for a 60% stake in the Legal Practice Technologies and Mastek took a further 40% in May 2014, but with marketing added Malle reckoned the cost of Veyo reached at least £3m.
Before Veyo even launched the Law Society splashed the cash on advertising at the Six Nations rugby union tournament in February this year – an expense that will anger Law Society members.
Malle said: “it’s always disappointing when an initiative aiming to improve the conveyancing market fails, but this failure has been described by many as a car crash in slow motion.
“Unfortunately the marketing of Veyo ran well ahead of the reality and the reported figure of at least £3m spent, it could be more, is truly eye watering for Law Society members.
“When Veyo presented their plans at the Legalex conference in May 2014 it was already clear that there was a lack of understanding of the conveyancing market among those leading the project.
“Respected figures in the conveyancing industry invested considerable time and effort to help shape the product into something that could work but it seems that this feedback was largely ignored.”
Malle spoke of the conveyancing industry being a disparate market where you need to operate to the lowest common denominator.
Since Veyo required solicitors to interact with the system directly and conveyancers had to pay for every transaction the system was seemingly always on to a loser.
There is talk of new providers offering free products such as Free 2 Convey to replace Veyo, but Malle admitted he is sceptical about such ventures.
He added: “There are a number of products in development which might provide useful information for the conveyancing market but they are only ever going to be as good as the volume and quality of data that populates them.
“For any of these initiatives to succeed they will need to provide compelling reasons for the majority of firms to want to put in the effort to commit to them and potentially pay for them. Given how diverse the conveyancing market is, it’s a tough brief.
“We continue to innovate within our own business and look to make best use of market solutions such as Lawyer Protect and Lender Exchange where they can help.”