Allegations about a Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner who was placed on leave by the firm have continued as the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) have refused an application to dismiss its prosecution against him in a claim involving an alleged attempt to engage in sexual activity with a drunk staffer.
The junior staff member has claimed that the misconduct was an abuse of the partner, Ryan Beckwith’s, seniority in the firm. (Beckwith is pictured).
The attempt to have the application dismissed came on the second day of the case’s case management before the Tribunal, with the case now due to start on 30 September for a two week hearing.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in May published a list of allegations against Beckwith following a case management hearing the previous week.
The Authority had referred the case to the SDT in June last year. The allegations are as yet unproven and the SRA declined to comment at this time due to the ongoing hearing.
Freshfields senior partner Edward Braham said: ‘We note the decision of the tribunal and confirm he remains on indefinite leave.’
The allegations centre on allegations that Beckwith kissed or attempted to kiss “Person A” over whom he was in a position of seniority, and secondly, that he initiated and/or engaged in sexual activity with the same person.
Both parties were at an event organized by the firm for its partners and employees. The statement says that Beckwith knew or ought to have known that the Person A gave no indication the approach was wanted, and that he knew or ought to have known his conduct was an abuse of his seniority or authority.