Legal Cheek talks… should the £20 note burning law student be kicked out of Cambridge?

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Nearly 23,000 have signed a petition calling for his removal

In our latest live Facebook broadcast, Legal Cheek’s resident journos Katie King and Tom Connelly debate whether the Cambridge law student filmed burning cash in front of a homeless man should be booted off his course.

Snapchat footage emerged late last week showing Ronald Coyne — who studies law at the university’s historic Pembroke College — struggling to burn the £20 note while wearing a formal dress code known as white tie. Sparking outrage across the country, a petition calling for his removal has chalked up almost 23,000 signatures.

But should Coyne be allowed to continue with his legal education?

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Doesn’t really matter if he is allowed to continue his legal education or not, all firms will know who he is when researching him.. good luck to him getting a job. Idiot.



Not sure, if he applies in 5 years for a TC in a mid-sized law firm will they care? He has Vac schemes from daddy or school friends, he’s been paralegalling or working at a law centre (probably in Ealing), has a 2.1 and maybe a commendation on the LPC.

Is this going to stop him? I think not. He’ll just say he was stupid and sorry for it, and get away with it. the sad fact is a commercial client wont care who he is, if he’s good at what he does.



Ronald’s behaviour is an absolute disgrace (Liz Truss voice)



What a waste of time on Legal Cheek’s part. Move on.



They’ve got an article, an opinion piece and an 18 minute video out of this. LC know how to flog a dead horse!


Fact Checker

*Two articles


Chancellor of the Fact Checker

*One article



Still no apology from Ronald McDonald the pyromaniac clown?

The killer clowns are closing in…



Still riding on this story it seems.

Just bunch of failed lawyers. Sorry Katie after the work you’ve done on here no one will ever hire you.



On the contrary, she’d be fast-tracked to interview


MC HR lady Norma

Hi Katie.

Sorry, that won’t happen.



How much of a window-licker does one have to be in order to do something like this in front of a camera?



Someone who has no other options or career prospects?



I was referring to Coyne.



Oh sorry. I mean the money burner or the people riding on this story like female trainee’s ride Jones Day Partner’s cocks, not much a difference.
Piss off Katie


Jones Day equity partner

Oh yeah, they sure do. My trainee calls it the ‘Stick Shift’ cos’ I get her off 0-60 in under 3 seconds. Phwoar.


JD Trainee

Nah mate, it’s cos you get yourself off in under 3 seconds!



Apologies if this is answered in the video (I admit to not having watched it), but I cannot even begin to conceive of a remotely convincing reason as to why Mr Coyne should be chucked off his course.

He did something which was rude, nasty and distasteful. So what? It wasn’t illegal. It didn’t constitute academic misconduct. It wasn’t at a university event or on university premises. What possible reason could there be for throwing him off the course?


Coco the Killer Clown

Hello Ronnie-boy!

Still trying to make out it wasn’t so bad?

Still no apology though, so you’re still going to get eaten by my buddies.

Ta ta.



It constitutes misconduct- as it shows the university in a bad light. True, there is a high bar for this getting you chucked off the course, but he meets it.

He’s tormenting a vulnerable person, let not forget that.



I’ve seen comments like this, “oh he was drunk”, “it was iwegal!!”, “oh but the context”

His actions are those of a sociopath. A verifiable sociopath. Not a drunken mistake. Grabbing a girl’s bum is a mistake. It’s not even merely nasty; it’s just a complete lack of empathy. Considerable conscious thought was applied. Neurons were firing. He wasn’t stitched up or pressured to do this.

And yes, the university can kick him out. Any student who threatens to damage a university’s reputation absolutely can be kicked out subject to proper process. Has he damaged the university’s reputation? Absolutely. Having that degree on his CV associates the university with a potential Rurik Jutting (who incidentally also studied law at Cambridge – the man who used the wealth accumulated from that degree to murder a bunch of prostitutes in a HK hotel room).


Not Ronald

I think that people should bear in mind the possible context of this incident.
Looking at the perpetrator, it seems possible that he would have spent time trying to fit in with a certain crowd – likely to be moneyed, socially adept and supremely confident. In such a crowd he may well have been bullied, and I can picture this being a kind of coup de grace. Dressed up as an initiation ritual he would have been goaded and would not be thinking straight. The bullies would have encouraged him during the act while filming it and then publishing it and hanging him out to dry.
This young man’s emotional well-being is likely to have been seriously harmed by the whole saga, and people are playing a very dangerous game by piling on the vitriol.


Coco the Killer Clown

Aww diddums!

Let me just check on my posh list…

✅ Went to a very expensive school
✅ Goes to Cambridge
✅ Is well connected
✅ Son of oil executive
✅ Wears white tie
✅ Votes Conservative
✅ Has money to burn

Yup! He is one of them- no question.

Now let me check my mitigation list:

❌ Poor background
❌ State-educated “trying to fit in”
❌ Child
❌ Remorseful

Nope. We’re still going to eat him.


LL and P

I’m not sure if your post was in sarcasm, but it makes the point. Quite clearly there is some envy going on here from people who want to destroy this guy. That’s the sort of society we live. Whilst his conduct was clearly disgusting and an example of the sort of posh laddishness i don’t really like, for people to sign a petition to get him chucked off his course is so strange and quite sad really.

The depressing truth is that this kid will not suffer any real consequences professionally provided he finishes his degree, and even if Cambridge kick him out he will get into other universities, perhaps in the US with equally strong reputations. We live in a global world, and i’m sure his parents contacts will get him a job somewhere on earth, probably earning more in the short term than he would have in London. He could end up in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa etc. working in commodities using his dad’s connections. So any short term joy from him being kicked out will not last.


An Barrister


If he’s going to thrive regardless, why waste time pretending that his actions will have any negative consequences on his future.

One rule for them…


Louis Littmus

Katie and Tom are rinsing this story like a wet cloth


Katie's Mum

Or Katie’s bed-sheets after all this abuse!


Adam Deen

Go smoke a dong Tommy, this story sucks.


Adam Deen

Preferably mine by the way.😘



LC squeezing every last bit of $$$ out of this



Katie is cute.



“As usual I am joined by Katie King”

I bet you are, Thomas. You lucky boy.



This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.



This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Tugg Speedman

“Powerful insult game, Cotton, but can he deliver the goods?”

3/10, try harder.


Clifford Chance Pool Boy

Seeing this witch hunt through from beginning to end I see, Miss King. Probably doing yourself as much harm by showing you’re a spiteful human who will do anything for a little recognition; on second thoughts, this may actually get you far in this profession…


Katie King

Sorry Ronald- you’re going to have to start taking responsibility for your own actions.



Is the university taking any action?

I have seen several instances of pissed-up students (who after warnings and due process) were booted from the relevant university for anti-social behaviour where they lived. The behaviour did not take place on university property and was not associated with university activities. Most universities cater for this as part of the terms of attending the university.

I am surprised there has been no news about this yet from the university.



The point about whether this behaviour would be more acceptable if it were by a student from a ‘lesser’ Univeristy is utterly rediculous. The perceived status of a Univeristy has no bearing on the moral expectations of the students who attend it. Also nice to see that it was Newcastle and Northumbria that were listed as the second rate options…


Flog dead horse

Really, this again!

Who the fuck cares



[insert generic comment about Tom’s massive guns]


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