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Royal Courts of Justice, London

The decision earlier on Friday to overturn the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s (SDT) decision to fine and reprimand former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Ryan Beckwith for alleged misconduct is sure to reverberate across the U.K.’s legal profession. As one person close to the situation commented, the judgment has “far reaching consequences for the regulation of the legal profession.”

So how did the High Court arrive at its ruling?

“Popular outcry is not proof that a particular set of events gives rise to any matter falling within a regulator’s remit.”

In its judgment, the High Court judges said they had “considerable sympathy” for Beckwith, finding that the SDT had “erred in its approach” by first failing to decide whether Beckwith’s actions amounted to professional misconduct, and then “by not concluding that his actions did not reach the standard of professional misconduct”.

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Varsha Patel

Varsha joined Legal Week in October 2019 after working as a senior editor at LexisNexis. She covers continental Europe and the in-house market. You can reach her on [email protected]

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