Ian Perkins and Richard Bootle are the managing directors and co-founders of the Australian based Moxcol Group, a corporate organisation transforming traditional businesses through re-engineering processes and applying new technology.
The Group consists of lawlab – a national law firm specialising in conveyancing, Rundl – an open business network for digital service delivery, Kodum – an integrated audio, video and control technology for business, and Bogan Farms – an agriculture business.
Ian recently talked to us about lawlab and Rundl, and how he has found working with Simmonds Stewart.
After legal careers in top tier law firms, Ian and Richard set up a conveyancing practice from their remote farm in New South Wales, dealing with mainly corporate and government clients.
While the geographical isolation first proved to be a challenge, with city based firms confirming that location was an important factor in securing new clients, it turned out to be the spark that ignited Ian and Richard’s long term vision of utilising technology to overcome business obstacles.
They researched how to build tools to solve their remoteness issues and quickly realised that the internet was the opportunity they needed. In 2012, when broadband had significantly improved and consumer behaviour had shifted to the faster paced online and mobile world, they went back to the market to begin the technological revolution of their practice.
lawlab is now a leading national and multi jurisdictional specialist law firm that delivers streamlined, high-volume, and fixed fee conveyancing and legal services through digital products. Corporate, government and private clients can receive online quotes via the website, a responsive service starting within 2 business hours of instruction, as well as speaking to lawyers directly at any time.
The next challenge for Ian and Richard, given consumers’ social media lives were quickly becoming more sophisticated than their business lives, was to leverage the digital sophistication of the online community experience and translate it to the delivery of professional services.
In 2015, they launched Rundl, a secure digital business transactions platform which also redesigned lawlab’s conveyancing services delivery. Rundl brings all parties involved in a conveyancing transaction together onto one secure digital workspace, allowing for accelerated and nimble settlement. The offering includes e-signature and storage for documents, mobile access and clear visibility of transaction completion.
These digital solutions to geographical and business challenges have now delivered over AUD7 billion of conveyancing transactions, and secured customers like LJ Hooker, Ray White and propertybuyer.
From initially solving location and digital catch-up issues, Ian and Richard not only had to refine their business to meet the demand of clients from China and South East Asia but also scale their business with IT support based in Romania, New Zealand and Singapore to ensure robust systems and cost efficiencies.
Conveyancing is a competitive industry with the top ten conveyancing firms controlling 10% of the market. Also, working in multiple jurisdictions means dealing with multiple compliance issues and delivering multiple service offerings.
However, lawlab’s point of difference is that it is the only national firm delivering across all the Australian States and beyond, and Rundl’s platform provides a solid base to evolve further for different regulatory and customer requirements.
As far as expectations of lawyers go, Ian and Richard’s are exceptionally high. Both lawyers, running a legal services business in which they employ lawyers, means they have zero tolerance for poor performance and shoddy drafting.
Ian says that he finds the key fault with lawyers is that they want to manage every risk and you end up losing the deal, so it is important to him to work only with high calibre lawyers with strong work ethic, sharp responsiveness and acute attention to detail.
Despite being Australian based, Ian undertook a comparison of the price and quality of legal services across key cities in Australia and NZ. He found that NZ firms not only offered very reasonable fees but produced high calibre work.
After being referred to Simmonds Stewart CEO and partner, Victoria Stewart, Ian and Victoria have now worked together for over 5 years on a broad range of legal work, from general commercial contracts, key partnership deals and technology support agreements, to the sale and purchase of a conveyancing business.
Ian relies on Victoria as a fiercely independent source of legal and commercial advice. He says she knows exactly how to capture the mood of commercial negotiations and respond to the reality of the deal.
Ian says that every single engagement with Simmonds Stewart has stood out as top quality and I have never been disappointed with delivery. In addition Victoria has never missed a deadline. He sums up Simmonds Stewart as progressive, smart and sassy.
Now that Ian and Richard only need to worry about how far their clients are from their mobile phones to complete their conveyancing transactions, they are of course looking to further develop their products to achieve their vision of an open business network where people can connect through secure, transparent and collaborative processes.
Simmonds Stewart has thoroughly enjoyed supporting Ian and Richard’s ambitious and game-changing enterprise, and is excited to see how they go about solving their next challenges utilising new technology.
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