Moving house is cited as the third most stressful event after divorce and the death of a spouse. In the current dodgy climate, it may even surpass these. But an Essex-based entrepreneurial lawyer has taken her property expertise online to help ease the process. Kitty Pryse Jones was left a small law firm in her boss's will in 1983, but, as a conveyancing manager, wasn't qualified. Rather than sell it, though, she continued to manage the firm while gaining qualifications, and in 1998 it became Pryse Jones.
It didn't stop there. 'I was trying to find a way to differentiate ourselves from other local firms,' she explains. So rather than a simple brochure site, Pryse Jones decided on something more ambitious - online conveyancing. 'No company of our size had ever contemplated something so adventurous.'
To meet the legal obligation of practising under a lawyer's name, Pryse Jones launched two sites. So www.movingahead.co.uk, set up last January, links to www.prysejones.co.uk. It features state-of-the-art instant quotation systems, online conveyancing tracking and an 'abortive costs' scheme. Although the web site initially attracted many new estate agents, clients are catching on fast. 'Turnover this year is up 41% from last year to pounds 200,000,' reports Pryse Jones, 'with people signing up online every day.
'We want turnover of up to half a million,' she adds, 'but anything over that and we would lose control.' A lawyer with scruples? Now that's progress.