Partners at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer face potential earnings penalties if they act inappropriately, in what the firm says is an ongoing drive 'to improve behaviour and inclusiveness'.

The magic circle firm revealed today that it has set up a conduct committee to ‘drive culture change’ and confirmed that partners could face a 20% earnings deduction for bad behaviour.

The news comes after Freshfields partner Ryan Beckwith was sanctioned by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal after he went home with a junior colleague following an alcohol fuelled work event.

Beckwith, who was fined £35,000, was found to have failed to act with integrity and to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in the provision of legal services.

Edward Braham, senior partner at Freshfields, said: ‘We are committed to improving behaviour and inclusiveness. For more than a year we have been running a global behaviours programme to drive culture change, which includes reviewing and adjusting our HR processes, governance and systems across the firm.

‘We want to ensure that positive behaviour is consistently valued and that inappropriate behaviour is called out and acted upon. The plans for a conduct committee and protocol are part of this ongoing programme across the firm.’