Who we are | BackupTyping

Who we are

Remote typing service in property companies for nearly 20 years

BackupTyping has been working with the property industry since 1998 providing a fast and accurate outsource typing service.  Over the last 20 years we have gone from from dial up routers and mailing cassettes (or driving around to collect tapes), to clever re-recording cassette machines over telephone lines and then on to (thankfully!) digital dictation.

We are passionate about the service we provide to our clients – we love typing and to be able to go above and beyond when called upon.


Deborah Tantardini, Founding Director Many, I’m sure, will remember being in Mayfair during the 80s and 90s (good times right?!). I certainly do during my time working for Graham Chase at Clive Lewis & Partners. After many years working for Graham, I took some time out to travel around Asia and then joined Graham again at his newly founded company Chase & Partners. In 1998 I founded BackupTyping when outsourcing was a new concept to the UK property industry, computers cost a million pounds and the internet made a squeaky noise when you ‘dialled up’. Anyone else feeling old? Technology was just about affordable to be able to provide an off-site, same day service of typing so BackupTyping began.  At that time I was still working with Graham Chase and managed to get both Chase & Partners and the also forward thinking King Sturge (now JLL) on board, so it was all systems go. I felt that same day service was the key to outsourcing typing in the property industry and believe that still today.

I have a bit of a thing for chairs – there’s plenty of seats around our place.  Around BackupTyping and collecting, I started a cocktail bar on Margate seafront shortly after moving here, then sold it a few years later, and am now working on building a small portfolio of cute little houses in Margate where I still live.

Lorna Bjelcevic, Senior Manager  I’ve worked in property or construction in some form or another throughout my career, starting as a young 16 year old for IMS Lycrete learning about all forms of slag aggregate. After moving to London and a short spell for a South African mining company a few years were spent with The Concrete Society. This was where I used a word processor for the first time (I am that old!!), goodbye Tippex and the hello my new best friend – the ‘help’ button. A few years passed and I took my first position for Chartered Surveyors at Vigers where I really started learning all the terminology and enjoyed the weekly softball games in Regents Park.   From there I joined Clive Lewis & Partners working in various departments starting in leisure, moving to retail where I worked for a young Guy Grainger, rent review and eventually valuation. Whilst at Clive Lewis & Partners I was involved with the Shop Agents Society and helped in organising events and drinks evenings at Caspers (no one under the age of 45 will remember the legendary venue!). As Clive Lewis morphed into Erdman Lewis and then Colliers Erdman Lewis I continued to work in the Valuation department for Kevin Powell and Chris Fowler-Tutt. After many years I then moved to Leslie Perkins preferring to work in a smaller office and having more responsibility and in the evenings I worked part time at Belgo in Covent Garden being part of the opening team and this is where I met my husband (good job I liked mussels I guess). I eventually joined Lunson Mitchenall where I stayed for 8 years, working for Peter Courtney and Neil Hockin (who I already knew from Erdman Lewis). Peter and Neil were involved with the letting of Canary Wharf (the view from the 50th floor was breath taking), the Bullring Birmingham, the Oracle Reading and Cribbs Causeway. I loved my time at Lunson Mitchenall and only left to start a family.  After a few years and then having two small children, Deborah (who I worked with at Clive Lewis & Partners) lured me to work with BackupTyping.  That was 10 years ago and I haven’t looked back.

I love Asian food and have mastered a pretty mean Thai green curry, but love to try new dishes and have recently managed to make mochi from scratch (first attempt was okay but practice definitely needed) and Kimbap (Korean sushi) which it turns out I’m quite good at judging by how quickly my kids eat it.


Melanie Waley, Manager My first job was working as a travel agent which I did for a couple of years in my local area, just outside London.  I decided after this time that I really wanted to work in the bright lights of central London and luckily secured a job in a large chartered surveying practice, Clive Lewis & Partners in the West End as an office junior. During this time I worked my up to a team secretary and then a senior secretary in the ‘Shops’ Department, under the leadership of Graham Chase.  It was whilst working at Clive Lewis that I met Deborah and Lorna. There was subsequently a period of time of company mergers, CL&P merging with Edward Erdman to form Erdman Lewis, and then later merging to become Colliers Erdman Lewis.   Whilst at CEL, I was PA to the head of the Retail Agency Department and responsible for running a team of secretaries. In 1998 I was approached by Graham Chase who was then the Chairman of Chase & Partners to be his PA. I worked with Graham for a couple of years before leaving to start a family. I’ve worked from home in with the property industry for 20 years.  I’m proud that I can still provide professional support from home, working with various clients and also many that I’ve known now for upwards of 30 years!

In my free time, other than visiting my children who are both now at University, I enjoy going to the gym (not even a lie), eating out with friends and working in the garden.

Edwina Smith, Senior Operative  I have worked in the property industry since the start of my secretarial career, with my first job working for SGB Scaffolding in Battersea.  So new to secretarial work was I that it took me 5 minutes to work out to turn on the computer!!! From there I worked as a PA for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Parliament Square, which I enjoyed immensely.  Having relocated to Manchester and worked for the University of Salford on their International IT project, I went back to London and joined DTZ, firstly as a temporary secretary and then permanently.  I then transferred to their Manchester for four years, where I worked as PA to the Director of the Professional Department, whilst also covering all other departments during holiday and sickness periods, thus giving me great knowledge across all aspects of the surveying spectrum.   Yet another move back down south where I transferred to the Investment Department where I was PA to the Head of Shopping Centres.  This has to have been my favourite job!    I worked for DTZ over a period of around 10 years all together before leaving on maternity leave.  I then was put in touch with Deborah haven’t looked back!  I love the flexibility of working from home whilst also keeping up to date with the property world through the diverse variety of Backup’s clients.

I am a triplet (all of us girls) with two of us being identical twins.  I had a fantastic childhood growing up with my two best friends, same classes at school, leaving home together, moving in together and even working at the same company together.  It was one of my sisters who actually got me into DTZ as a temp (she worked there for 5 years herself!).  Also I think that I still hold the record for the fastest typing test at DTZ!

Michelle Cattini, Senior Operative  I have over 23 years experience working in the property industry.  I previously worked at Mason Philips Chartered Surveyors and then moving on to King Sturge (now JLL) as a Float Secretary working in a variety of departments including Building Consultancy, Investment, Retail, Office, Landlord and Tenant, Asset Management and Industrial.  I have been working with BackupTyping for over 16 years now.

I love living by the seaside and when not busy typing I love to surf and run.