Former Freshfields partner Ryan Beckwith is to appeal a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ruling under which he was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay costs of £200,000.
Beckwith’s solicitor Nick Brett, of Brett Wilson LLP, said: ‘On Wednesday 19 February 2020, Mr Beckwith filed grounds to appeal against the decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal dated 30 January 2020 and it would not be appropriate to comment further pending the hearing in the High Court which will be listed in due course.’
The Solicitors Regulation Authority declined to comment.
Beckwith was found in breach of his obligations as a solicitor after he went back to the home of a junior colleague following post-work drinks in 2016.
In its judgment, the SRA found that Ryan Beckwith, who was a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer at the time of the incident, did not pose a future risk to the profession’s reputation. Neither would his misconduct shake the public’s perception of his ability to properly represent their concerns if he were to be instructed.
It added that Beckwith’s conduct was ‘spontaneous’ and he was ‘directly in control notwithstanding his level of intoxication… He was a respected partner in the firm and had responsibility for his junior colleagues. As such, he owed his junior colleagues a duty of care’.
The findings relate to an incident in July 2016, when Beckwith and a junior female colleague, referred to as ‘Person A’, joined colleagues in a pub for post-work drinks near to Freshfields’ London office. They later went back to her home and Beckwith stayed until the early hours of the morning.
The SRA revealed earlier this week that it would not contest Beckwith’s £35,000 penalty.