‘Popular outcry is not proof’: Beckwith’s #MeToo decision overturned in controversial court judgment

‘Popular outcry is not proof’: Beckwith’s #MeToo decision overturned in controversial court judgment

In what has been described as a landmark ruling, former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Ryan Beckwith has prevailed in his appeal in the High Court against the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s findings against him in a high-profile sexual misconduct case.

The Queen’s Bench Division today (27 November) overturned the tribunal’s October 2019 findings that Beckwith’s behaviour with a junior lawyer was in breach of principles two and six of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s code of conduct, requiring solicitors to ‘act with integrity’ and ‘behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services’.  Continue reading “‘Popular outcry is not proof’: Beckwith’s #MeToo decision overturned in controversial court judgment”

Beckwith appeal date set as ex-Freshfields partner challenges liability and costs in #MeToo case

Beckwith appeal date set as ex-Freshfields partner challenges liability and costs in #MeToo case

An appeal by former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Ryan Beckwith against the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s (SDT) decision in his misconduct case is set to be heard in October.

Beckwith filed the High Court appeal against the SDT’s decision on liability and the costs award in February, with the hearing now listed for Wednesday 21 October.  Continue reading “Beckwith appeal date set as ex-Freshfields partner challenges liability and costs in #MeToo case”

Barclays acquittal draws flak for flawed SFO prosecutions despite record Airbus win

Barclays acquittal draws flak for flawed SFO prosecutions despite record Airbus win

Thomas Alan assesses the fresh controversy around SFO tactics

It claims it is a public service hamstrung by archaic laws and deserves more sympathy; its critics make unfavourable comparisons to the civil service and question the competency of its lawyers. Continue reading “Barclays acquittal draws flak for flawed SFO prosecutions despite record Airbus win”

Pioneering City arbitration set secures DC launch with latest member

Pioneering City arbitration set secures DC launch with latest member

Int-Arb Arbitrators & Mediators (Int-Arb), the specialist set of advocates launched earlier this year, is opening a new branch in Washington DC with the recruitment of its latest member.

The veteran mediator and arbitrator Wolf von Kumberg becomes the sixth tenant at Int-Arb, the set and membership service for independent practitioners launched in January. Von Kumberg, who joins from ArbDB Chambers, will split his time between Int-Arb’s central London offices and the new branch in Washington. Continue reading “Pioneering City arbitration set secures DC launch with latest member”

Perfect storms – Cases of the year

Perfect storms – Cases of the year

Cash-rich funders; conflict-free boutiques; class actions aplenty. While some predict another economic downturn on the horizon, providing an uptick in conventional litigation work, these themes have defined the more eye-catching disputes of the past year. Add to the mix an increase in cyber-related litigation and accusations of fraud and regulatory missteps against some of the leading firms’ key institutional clients, and a kinetic disputes scene emerges.

Many of these developments are US imports, particularly class actions and a more aggressive approach to accusations of fraud. These US-style claims are often being pursued by disputes boutiques increasingly allying themselves with external funders. As a result, the stranglehold City bluebloods have over big-ticket litigation has loosened, while some feel only two or three of the smaller players are of sufficient quality to cause real disruption (see our boutiques report). Continue reading “Perfect storms – Cases of the year”

Litigation support – The right-hand men (and women)

Litigation support – The right-hand men (and women)

As the forum of choice for international litigants, London continues to enjoy an unparalleled reputation for high-value dispute resolution. The quality of justice delivered by its commercial courts is underpinned by the calibre of specialist independent judges and the lawyers that work in them. But beyond the courtroom door, a diverse range of specialist litigation support providers routinely help to bolster the case being put forward by the legal teams on both sides.

From asset tracing, e-discovery and forensic accounting to third-party funding, PR and witness training, many of these services are now increasingly central to formulating a successful dispute strategy. Critically, the level of sophistication required frequently goes beyond the capacity of in-house expertise available to general counsel (GCs), or even to the largest law firms. Continue reading “Litigation support – The right-hand men (and women)”

Market Report: Tax Litigation – Introducing the hard line

Market Report: Tax Litigation – Introducing the hard line

Post Brexit, HMRC is renewing its litigation focus on corporate tax evasion, enhanced by new powers to investigate corporate criminal offences. Dominic Carman reports

Like stargazing through a telescope, tax disputes look back in time. The typical gestation period between issues first catching HMRC’s attention and a dispute reaching court can take up to five years, sometimes longer. Nick Skerrett (pictured), head of contentious tax at Simmons & Simmons, says there has been a maturation of the governance processes within HMRC. ‘It is starting to bed down and HMRC has become more adept in its approach to working out those cases that it ultimately wants to come before the courts from those that it does not,’ he says. Continue reading “Market Report: Tax Litigation – Introducing the hard line”

Coronavirus latest: Supreme Court goes virtual as junior lawyers plea against postponing exams

Coronavirus latest: Supreme Court goes virtual as junior lawyers plea against postponing exams

For the first time in its history, the Supreme Court conducted a case entirely through video conferencing this morning (24 March), after taking the decision to close its building to the public due to the spread of Covid-19.

The move saw the matter of Fowler (Respondent) v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Appellant) conducted virtually, with all cases and judgment hand-downs set to continue via video conferencing until further notice. The measures will see legal teams and counsel, as well as each of the justices, located separately. Continue reading “Coronavirus latest: Supreme Court goes virtual as junior lawyers plea against postponing exams”

‘This raises serious questions’: More SFO failure as former Barclays execs escape fraud convictions

‘This raises serious questions’: More SFO failure as former Barclays execs escape fraud convictions

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is facing criticism after suffering another high-profile defeat in its only financial crisis prosecution after three former Barclays bankers were today (28 February) acquitted of fraud.

Barclays’ ex-investment banking chief, Roger Jenkins, its ex-European financial institutions head, Richard Boath and the former head of its wealth division, Thomas Kalaris, were all accused of creating fraudulent advisory services agreements as a means to disguise payments worth £322m to Qatar. Continue reading “‘This raises serious questions’: More SFO failure as former Barclays execs escape fraud convictions”

City’s new disputes hub launches home for independent arbitrators

City’s new disputes hub launches home for independent arbitrators

The team behind the City’s new cutting-edge arbitration centre has launched a membership service for independent practitioners, with full clerking and admin support as well as a home in the heart of London’s legal community.

The new business, Int-Arb Arbitrators, is backed by the International Arbitration Centre (IAC), the world-class disputes hub launched last year at a four-floor site at 190 Fleet Street in central London. Continue reading “City’s new disputes hub launches home for independent arbitrators”