Tribunal finds against Freshfields partner in high-profile misconduct case

Tribunal finds against Freshfields partner in high-profile misconduct case

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer restructuring partner Ryan Beckwith engaged in sexual activity with a junior female colleague in circumstances in which she was ‘intoxicated to the extent that her judgment was impaired’, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) found today (10 October).

The SDT said at a hearing this morning that Beckwith knew or ought to have known that the junior member of staff was intoxicated and her judgement impaired and that he knew or ought to have known that his conduct was inappropriate. The verdict followed a seven-day hearing that has attracted a stream of headlines. Continue reading “Tribunal finds against Freshfields partner in high-profile misconduct case”

A&O’s Mansell to appear before SDT in December as #MeToo fallout promises busy winter

A&O’s Mansell to appear before SDT in December as #MeToo fallout promises busy winter

Allen & Overy (A&O) employment partner Mark Mansell is to face his first Solicitor Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) hearing on Wednesday 5 December following an investigation into his role drafting a controversial non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.

A spokesperson for the SDT confirmed to Legal Business yesterday (9 September) the new date for Mansell’s hearing, which had originally been scheduled for 3 June. Continue reading “A&O’s Mansell to appear before SDT in December as #MeToo fallout promises busy winter”

SRA drops sexual harassment inquiry into former Reed Smith partner

SRA drops sexual harassment inquiry into former Reed Smith partner

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has dropped an investigation into a former Reed Smith partner who was dismissed from the firm over a complaint of sexual harassment.

The allegation came to light last November, with the matter reported to have involved the sexual harassment of a junior female trainee, while the unnamed London-based partner was dismissed from the firm in late 2017. Continue reading “SRA drops sexual harassment inquiry into former Reed Smith partner”

Disputes heavyweights weigh in as Burford Capital alleges ‘illegal manipulation’ of shares after Muddy Waters attack

Disputes heavyweights weigh in as Burford Capital alleges ‘illegal manipulation’ of shares after Muddy Waters attack

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Morrison & Foester have all been enlisted by litigation funder Burford Capital to pursue claims of illegal market manipulation by short-seller Muddy Waters.

Burford today (12 August) said in a statement that a preliminary finding of its analysis of trading shares last week displayed ‘evidence consistent with illegal market manipulation.’ The statement came after more than £1bn was wiped off the company’s value last week after San Francisco-based Muddy Waters published a report suggesting Burford was ‘a perfect storm for an accounting fiasco.’ Continue reading “Disputes heavyweights weigh in as Burford Capital alleges ‘illegal manipulation’ of shares after Muddy Waters attack”

Kingsley Napley, Clydes and Howard Kennedy instructed as Bakers and former London head Senior face SDT prosecution

Kingsley Napley, Clydes and Howard Kennedy instructed as Bakers and former London head Senior face SDT prosecution

Baker McKenzie and its former London head Gary Senior have instructed partners at law firms Kingsley Napley and RadcliffesLeBrasseur as they face prosecution by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), with the first hearing scheduled for Monday 12 August.

Partners at Clyde & Co and Howard Kennedy have also been instructed after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced this week (30 July) it had referred Bakers and Senior for prosecution to the SDT after Senior ‘sought to initiate intimate activity’ with a junior member of staff in 2012. Continue reading “Kingsley Napley, Clydes and Howard Kennedy instructed as Bakers and former London head Senior face SDT prosecution”

SRA refers Bakers and former head Gary Senior for prosecution over ‘inappropriate’ behaviour as #MeToo cloud hangs over firm

SRA refers Bakers and former head Gary Senior for prosecution over ‘inappropriate’ behaviour as #MeToo cloud hangs over firm

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has referred Baker McKenzie and its former London head Gary Senior for prosecution to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after he ‘behaved in an inappropriate manner’ and ‘sought to initiate intimate activity’ with a junior member of staff in 2012.

In a decision announced today (30 July), the firm was referred to the SDT for allowing Senior to ‘improperly influence’ the investigation launched into the episode and for not reporting the matter to the SRA until February last year despite being aware of the facts. Continue reading “SRA refers Bakers and former head Gary Senior for prosecution over ‘inappropriate’ behaviour as #MeToo cloud hangs over firm”

SRA report reveals money laundering and #MeToo cases driving increases in workload

SRA report reveals money laundering and #MeToo cases driving increases in workload

Money laundering and workplace harassment cases are increasingly occupying the workload of the profession’s regulator, according to data from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

The report released today (25 July) reveals the breakdown of cases the SRA has worked on and its enforcement activity between November 2017 and October 2018. The report suggests money laundering; dubious investment schemes; and workplace harassment – as well as the related misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) – are increasingly pervasive within the profession. Continue reading “SRA report reveals money laundering and #MeToo cases driving increases in workload”

Two Clydes lawyers suspended for alleged financial breaches

Two Clydes lawyers suspended for alleged financial breaches

Clyde & Co has suspended two lawyers, including a partner, while alleged breaches of accounting rules are investigated.

The firm said today it had recently referred two lawyers to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) regarding alleged breaches of obligations in the SRA handbook, including its Code of Conduct and the Accounts Rules. Continue reading “Two Clydes lawyers suspended for alleged financial breaches”

Freshfields partner fails to block SDT sexual misconduct tribunal

Freshfields partner fails to block SDT sexual misconduct tribunal

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has thrown out an application by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Ryan Beckwith to dismiss its prosecution following misconduct allegations made against him by a junior member of staff.

The move came to light today (19 June) on the second day of a case management hearing before the SDT. The case against the restructuring partner will now start on 30 September and run for two weeks, the SDT confirmed. Continue reading “Freshfields partner fails to block SDT sexual misconduct tribunal”

Herbert Smith Freehills partner reported to SRA for threatening sexual harassment claimant

Herbert Smith Freehills partner reported to SRA for threatening sexual harassment claimant

A woman who filed a sexual harassment case against her employer was allegedly told by a Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) lawyer the case would end her career.

City finance associate Nathalie Abildgaard was awarded £270,000 in April after settling a sexual harassment case against her employer IFM Investors. However Abilgaard wrote in a submission to the Women and Equalities Committee a HSF lawyer had engaged in ‘aggressive and intimidating behaviour.’ Continue reading “Herbert Smith Freehills partner reported to SRA for threatening sexual harassment claimant”