Runnett & Co Property Lawyers has been bought by AIM-listed firm In-Deed Online.
The Online Conveyancing provider has acquired 100% of the issued shares, from co-founding shareholders Paul Thomas and Mathew Lewis.
Incorporated in 2007, ‘Runnetts' has grown rapidly, to the point where it has been reported as a top 10 conveyancing firm by volume of properties registered at the Land Registry. Following an introducer model, Runnett and Co’s growth has been driven by a nationwide network of estate agents.
The company provides conveyancing services to clients across the country, and is regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.
In-Deed was established in 2011 to provide property services to home buyers and sellers throughout the UK. In-Deed’s acquisition of Runnetts is a major coup for their bid to become a major player in the legal services market, enabling the online firm to bolt on an immediate boost in scale. The impressive skills of the In-Deed team will complement those of the Runnetts board, increasing efficiency in the running of the operation, and accelerating growth.
Will Runnett & Co be handling all of In-Deed’s consumer work?
Having bought Runnett and Co, In-Deed state that they will continue to expand their direct-to-consumer channel, and it is anticipated that work generated will be increasingly migrated to Runnetts. It is also expected that In-Deed will court referral work from the estate agent sector - a sector very well known to In-Deed Executive Chairman and Rightmove founder, Harry Hill.
Harry Hill commented "Some months ago we made it clear that our consumer business was not growing fast enough and that therefore we would explore the opportunity to acquire high quality and profitable conveyancing companies. Runnetts is exactly that and we are truly excited at the prospect of making it part of the In-Deed business. Not only does it give us immediate scale but it diversifies our distribution channels and takes us a step further towards creating a market leading conveyancing business. ”
"Our ambition remains to become one of, if not the, largest high quality provider of conveyancing services in the UK. To this end, we continue to progress our discussions with law firms, conveyancing firms and estate agency companies and look forward to updating our shareholders in due course. ”
Will Runnett and Co be rebranded as In-Deed?
Welsh branches will continue to trade as Runnett & Co. However, the London-based operation is expected to be rebranded. This is a canny move, as both the In-Deed name, and that of its founder, will resonate with and impress the Capital’s Estate Agents. As well it should too; Estate Agents are all too often frustrated by 'plodding' conveyancing services that often drag on far too long.
The Estate Agents’ opinion of In-Deed purchase of Runnetts
It is anticipated that the proven track record of Runnett & Co, delivering conveyancing services to a number of Estate Agent groups, when combined with Harry Hill’s first-hand experience of Estate Agent frustrations, will make a formidable and attractive proposition. It was this frustration with current conveyancing practices that prompted his creation of In-Deed in the first place.
Harry Hill, who also founded the estate agency titan Countrywide, will no doubt shape an offering that appeals to agents and their desire for more efficient conveyancing. Needless to say, this will also be a boon to buyers and sellers alike, as they will be the ultimate beneficiaries of faster, easier property transactions.
We look forward to seeing what this potentially significant development means for the property sector.
Further updates will be made to this article today, as the news unfolds.