Lawyer who quit after being rapped for ‘sexual activity’ with colleague may be hauled back to court

A groping lawyer dubbed ‘Del Boy’ who quit his job after being rapped for having sexual activity with a colleague in her 20s may be hauled back to court.

Ryan Beckwith, 41, who was initially fined £35,000 and ordered to pay £200,000 in costs last week, may be brought back to court amid concerns the legal profession sent the ‘wrong message’ by not striking him off.  

Mr Beckwith, nicknamed Del Boy because of his Essex accent and a taste for pina coladas, engaged in sexual activity with a drunk, younger lawyer and said she had ‘nice t***’. 

Ryan Beckwith, 41, who was initially fined £35,000 and ordered to pay £200,000 in costs last week, may be brought back to court amid concerns the legal profession sent the 'wrong message' by not striking him off

Ryan Beckwith, 41, who was initially fined £35,000 and ordered to pay £200,000 in costs last week, may be brought back to court amid concerns the legal profession sent the 'wrong message' by not striking him off

Ryan Beckwith, 41, who was initially fined £35,000 and ordered to pay £200,000 in costs last week, may be brought back to court amid concerns the legal profession sent the ‘wrong message’ by not striking him off

The married father-of-one was found to have acted without integrity when he travelled back to the drunk woman’s flat after a post-work drinking session.

He did not leave the flat until his unsuspecting wife called him at 4am. 

However, a tribunal didn’t suspend him and allowed him to keep practising as a solicitor. 

According to the Times, sources close to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) say that officials were worried that the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal was ‘sending out the wrong message, being inconsistent and too lenient’. 

Both the SRA and Mr Beckwith could appeal to the High Court against the ruling and as Mr Beckwith’s lawyers have said he is disappointed with the ruling, there may be a double appeal.

The married father-of-one was found to have acted without integrity when he travelled back to the drunk woman's flat after a post-work drinking session

The married father-of-one was found to have acted without integrity when he travelled back to the drunk woman's flat after a post-work drinking session

The married father-of-one was found to have acted without integrity when he travelled back to the drunk woman’s flat after a post-work drinking session

Mr Beckwith, who resigned as a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus on Thursday, was found to have acted without integrity by having sexual activity with a drunk female colleague. 

But the tribunal did not take into account whether or not the female, in her 20s, had consented and it found that Mr Beckwith didn’t initiate the sexual activity.

The SRA said it was surprised by the tribunal’s initial sanction and said it would wait for the full reasoning before deciding whether or not to appeal. 

Regulatory law specialist at the law firm Hickman & Rose, Andrew Katzen, told the Times: ‘This case marks a turning point in the way professional regulatory bodies tackle the increasingly blurred boundary between private and working lives.’  

Mr Beckwith, who resigned as a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus (pictured) on Thursday, was found to have acted without integrity by having sexual activity with a drunk female colleague

Mr Beckwith, who resigned as a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus (pictured) on Thursday, was found to have acted without integrity by having sexual activity with a drunk female colleague

Mr Beckwith, who resigned as a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus (pictured) on Thursday, was found to have acted without integrity by having sexual activity with a drunk female colleague

Legal experts said the case would have been rejected ‘only a few years ago’ by the Solicitors Regulation Authority but had been taken seriously because of the ‘Me Too’ movement. 

The pair had enjoyed an evening with colleagues in Fleet Street in 2016 where the woman says she was plied with jaegerbombs and bottles of wine on an empty stomach.

The 20-year-old alleged Mr Beckwith then ‘tricked his way’ into her flat before she woke up to find him on her bed, naked from the waist down.

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