A listed firm will not face disciplinary action over the handling of a case in which a High Court judge suggested it could have breached solicitor conduct rules.
Keystone Law announced to the London Stock Exchange yesterday that the issue relating to a ruling from last October is now closed.
The Honourable Mr Justice Coulson said in his judgment that Keystone had been ‘breathtakingly rude’ in its correspondence with a claimant who had secured an adjudication award against its client.
But the matter will now go no further despite the judge suggesting the ‘anger and aggression’ of exchanges could amount to a breach of the rules relating to the proper conduct of solicitors.
The Keystone statement said: ’Keystone is pleased to announce an update on the SRA’s view concerning the internal review carried out by Keystone into the conduct of one of its solicitors following comments made during a court case which was referred to in the company’s admission document.
‘The SRA has confirmed that it will be taking steps to close its file in relation to the matter, that it will not be undertaking further investigation and that no disciplinary action will be taken.’
Coulson had said in his judgment that Bernard Sport Surfaces Ltd v Astrosoccer4u Ltd was a classic example of two directors trying to use Victorian company legislation to avoid paying a due debt, but that what was unusual was the ‘connivance’ of Keystone Law. On one occasion, in response to the other party, Keystone wrote: ‘You will get nothing then. Goodbye.’ As well as being rude, Coulson said this was part of the intention to ‘misuse’ insolvency proceedings.
Keystone, which is run on a model of lawyers working remotely, floated last year. In its maiden set of financial results, covering the year ended 31 January, it reported that underlying pre-tax profits increased 42.7% to £3.27m while revenue rose 23.6% to £31.6m. The share price today dropped marginally to 284p a share, having started trading last November at 160p.