LDC completes United Legal Services market float

United Legal Services (‘ULS’) recently completed their entry onto AIM following a three year investment relationship with LDC.

ULS provides software that supports the provision of online legal services and its disruptive technology creates competition amongst the providers of legal services to the benefit of the consumer, whilst enabling legal providers using its technology to increase their revenue.

Their core brand is eConveyancer which provisions conveyancing and legal searches for the residential market in the UK.

In 2011 LDC provided development capital to assist in the businesses growth, supporting a management team led by Nigel Hoath and Andrew Weston.

ULS operates in a large and growing market with UK residential conveyancing estimated at approximately £1.6bn per year. Currently ULS has over 7,500 mortgage brokers using its platform as well as over 150 solicitors and stands to benefit from increasing demand for online comparison services for residential conveyancing and related services. This demand is being driven by end customers wanting better value for money and distributors needing to demonstrate that they are treating their customers fairly.

Developed over the last 11 years, the Group’s robust, award-winning platform is fully automated and accessed entirely online. This decreases the cost to the Group of each enquiry and enables it to service customers nationwide from a single office location. ULS’s focus going forward is on increasing end-customer satisfaction and this approach has been central to the Group’s success to date.

ULS takes an active role in managing the service provided to end customers by promoting excellence in service delivery from the Group’s panel of solicitors, tracking the progress of transactions and managing end customer concerns. ULS also provides analytics that allow solicitors to evaluate how competitive their pricing is, thereby increasing pricing transparency and competitiveness. All these measures have resulted in high levels of customer satisfaction and end-customers further benefit as they pay no conveyancing fee if a transaction aborts, which is not traditionally typical of the market.

In the short time LDC has been involved with the business revenues have increased five-fold from FY10 to FY14 of £16.3million. This alongside the desire to further develop the business, its products and services and create an independent platform acted as catalysts for the float.

Nigel Hoath, Chief Executive ULS comments, “This is a major step forward for our business. Our aim is to maintain our growth rate, retain our existing high levels of customer service and develop products that improve the marketplace. LDC’s support for this strategy over the past three years has been steadfast, and this cannot be underestimated in what has been a difficult market.”

Yann Souillard, Managing Director, LDC supports this view, “ULS have outperformed the market in many areas over the past three years, and this is in no small part as a result of a clear focus upon their chosen strategy by their management team in a market that has, at times, been extremely volatile. We wish them well for the future and look forward to seeing continued growth.”

Notes to Editors

  1. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  
  2. LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based medium sized companies seeking up to £100m of investment to fund management buyouts or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure, Support Services, Construction & Property and Financial Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network with locations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.