The case against a magic circle partner facing charges over his conduct towards a junior colleague has been adjourned until tomorrow morning.
Ryan Beckwith, a restructuring and insolvency expert with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, faces allegations relating to him abusing his position to initiate sexual activity with a woman in her 20s.
The substantive hearing began at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal today.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority, prosecuting, alleges that Beckwith kissed or attempted to kiss the junior staff member in a London pub in May 2016, in circumstances where he was in a position of seniority or authority.
It is further alleged that a few weeks later Beckwith initiated and/or engaged in sexual activity, where he ought to have known his conduct was unwelcome and that she was intoxicated to the extent she was vulnerable and her decision-making ability impaired.
In June Beckwith urged the SDT to throw out proceedings, arguing that the SRA investigation had been flawed and that the prosecution was an abuse of process. However, the SDT refused to drop the case.
Chair Nicola Lucking dismissed the argument that evidence against Beckwith was so flawed that proceedings should not go ahead.
The case is set for a 10-day substantive hearing and the complainant, who cannot be identified, is expected to give evidence for at least two days.
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Freshfields misconduct case adjourned