Keystone Law is committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we will address the problem and your concerns. This will help us to improve our standards and we review complaints received annually for this reason.
This policy sets out how we deal with formal complaints. If you feel your concerns might be better addressed by speaking with the members of the firm acting for you, then you should contact them first. You can make use of this policy at any time and should you do so, it will not affect our instructions and the services we provide to you, though it may in some instances create a conflict of interest (as explained below).
Complaints may concern anything we have done or failed to do. This ranges from our advice, whether on matters of law or in connection with any financial services we have provided, to the quality of service we provide and what we have charged. Once you have made a complaint, we will respond in the manner set out in this Complaints Policy.
What should you do if you have a complaint?
If you have a complaint, you should write to The Complaints Department, Keystone Law, 1st Floor, 48 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1JF.
Your letter should set out the full details of your complaint, including what you feel went wrong and what remedy you seek. You should enclose all relevant correspondence or documentation to support your complaint. We recommend using special delivery when corresponding with us about a complaint,; that way, you will know when we have received your complaint.
You must ensure that you write to us within six months of our completing our work for you or within six months of you discovering a cause for concern, whichever is later.
The Complaints Policy applies to all complaints under the relevant regulations dealing with complaints against firms of solicitors. If you wish to complain, but are not our client, you should note that client confidentiality and data protection rules may determine the nature of our response.
Complaints and conflicts of interest
As a regulated firm of solicitors, we must comply with our professional rules. These require us not to act where we may find ourselves in a position of a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest would arise in a situation where, on the one hand we have a duty to act in your best interests and on the other hand our own interests (for example, in light of a complaint raised) require us to take a different approach).
This should in no way affect whether you choose to make a complaint. However, you should be aware that there are circumstances where, once you have made a complaint, we may no longer be able to act for you on the matter. In this case we would let you know and discuss with you how best to proceed, bearing in mind our overriding duty to comply with our professional rules.
What will happen once we have received your complaint?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three working days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this Complaints Policy.
- We will start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to an appropriate person such as our Managing Director John McMahon or William Robins, or an appropriate person in our Operations and Compliance Team, who will independently review your matter file and speak to the relevant individual(s), including those named in the complaint.
- Where we believe a telephone conversation could assist in resolving the complaint, then, within eight days of receiving your complaint, we will endeavour to resolve your complaint by agreement over the telephone.
- Where we believe the matter is suitable to be resolved commercially, we may make you an offer for your consideration.
- Where we speak with you on the telephone and are unable to resolve your complaint by agreement within eight days or where we do not believe a telephone conversation would be appropriate, then within 28 days of receiving your complaint, we will write to you with our findings, which may include a suggested solution where appropriate.
- Where we make you a commercial offer to settle, and where you reject that offer, then within 28 days of receiving your rejection of our offer, we will write to you with our findings, which may include a suggested solution where appropriate.
- Finally, please note that where it is reasonable to do so, we may increase some of the timescales detailed above. If this is the case, then we will inform you in writing and we shall provide a reasonable explanation as to why we have extended the time periods. Examples of such explanations include where you have multiple complaints that all need to be investigated, or where it takes longer than anticipated to contact an important witness whose evidence is necessary for our investigation.
If you are still not satisfied or if we have not written to you within 28 days of receiving your complaint, then you can contact the Law Society of Northern Ireland and ask them to review the matter. Any complaint to the Law Society of Northern Ireland should be made within six months of the date of our sending you our findings or our having failed to respond within 28 days of our receiving your complaint. The Law Society of Northern Ireland has a set process it follows before investigating a complaint. You can find this here. Its address is: The Law Society of Northern Ireland, 96 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GN. Their telephone number is 028 9023 1614.
If you are not a client, you may be able to make a complaint in certain circumstances, for example, where you have an indirect involvement in any matter we are handling for another person and you suffer a loss or other adverse consequences from any actions that we take for them.
The Law Society may be able to help you if you are concerned about our behaviour, (for example, if you are concerned about dishonesty, taking or losing money, or being treated unfairly because of your age, a disability or another characteristic).