News

City solicitor placed on sex offenders register after assault conviction avoids being struck off

By on
21

He was also found guilty of racist assault

London Rowing Club, where the assault took place

A solicitor who was last year placed on the sex offenders register for five years after being convicted of racially-aggravated assault and sexual assault has avoided being struck off. Instead, former in-house lawyer Alastair Main has been suspended from practising until January 2019 and ordered to pay approximately £2,080 in costs.

Main, a former lawyer at global investment manager Schroders, hit headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was accused of lifting up a 27-year-old woman’s skirt, slapping her bottom and calling her an “Australian slut” at a Christmas party at the London Rowing Club in 2015. The University of Nottingham graduate was also accused of tipping a glass of beer over his victim in a string of incidents that started when she refused to give him a hug.

Though the Ashurst-trained solicitor admitted elements of the assault, he denied that his actions had been racially aggravated. “I did not say ‘Australian’, I called her a slut but I did not say ‘Australian’,” reports at the time quoted him as saying. “It was a pathetic thing to do,” he reportedly continued.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

Regardless, the high-flying solicitor was found guilty on both counts at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court and handed a 12-month community order. His name was also placed on the sex offenders register for five years, and he was ordered to cough up £1,000 in costs and an £85 victim surcharge. Judge Barnes, sentencing, told him:

“I take into account that you have lost your job and cannot work in your chosen sector in future and the impact on your reputation, your family, friends and the public.”

Following Main’s sentencing, the case was considered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Records show the regulator referred Main’s case to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in June 2017.

Three allegations were brought against Main, these being that he: 1) failed to uphold the rule of law and proper administration of justice; 2) failed to act with integrity; and 3) failed to behave in a way which maintains the trust the public places in him and the provision of legal services.

Now, the SDT has found that Main did indeed fail to act with integrity and failed to behave in a way which maintains the public’s trust. However, the tribunal did not agree that he failed to uphold the rule of law. It suspended him, effective from 23 January, and made a costs order. The full text of the SDT’s judgment will be published in about seven weeks, from which point Main will have 21 days to appeal.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

21 Comments

Actual practitioner

I don’t see the racial angle. Since when was “Australian” a racist term (or even a race)?

Henry mostyn

Since it’s become banned to mention Alex’s prissy asshole being breached

Jane

Think he had punishment some people learn buy their mistakes a 21 year old got my daugther pregnant when she was young reoprted him to police .cps did not prosecute . In the eyes of the law he broken the law why have laws in place if they not being followed correctly.

Anonymous

It is a nationality which is covered by the racially aggrivation provision (race, nationality or religion).

Anonymous

I’m confused why this man has not been struck off?

I can’t remember the exact details of the case, but a solicitor was struck off for stealing sunglasses. Yet this man remains in the legal profession despite being a registered sex offender. Are the SRA mentally impaired?

Ena B St John

One key distinction there is dishonesty. This fellow was pretty up front about his repugnant behaviour. I’m aware of the rushing-for-airport-sunglasses-on-head case you refer to – the dishonesty innerent in theft and in keeping the resultant caution to herself and not disclosing to the regulator.

That said I think the suspension is too lenient, not for long enough a period and hope that despite the President Club presidency opening up this week, this chap will find it hard to get a job in law come 2019.

Anonymous

Surely that he was found guilty on both counts suggests he was dishonest about having said ‘Australian’?

Anonymous

Classic London RC…..

Anonymous

I thought he might be able to row his way out of this one

Anonymous

Stop sticking your oar in.

Anonymous

Sad world we live in when a cheeky bottom slap is now allowed. It wasn’t like it was even a pinch.

Anonymous

Sad world where men think it’s okay to bottom slap a woman they barely know.

Tony S

He knew her very, very well, but quite properly as a complainant in a sexual offence she cannot be identified.

Anonymous

He has obviously no respect for women. If someone did that to his sister he would not have been happy and probably would have represented his sister in court.

Anonymous

What are you basing that assertion on?

Toffee

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

Anonymous

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

Ciaran Goggins

Sigh, Australians are not a race (unless the gal was Koori/Aborigine).

Anonymous

But are a nationally. Do learn to read.

Anonymous

He was clearly wrong and deserved to be punished. But it is also important that punishment be such that it gives him a chance to learn his lessons and truly turn a new leaf. From that perspective, it is good that he was not completely banned from practice forever. One however has to hope that this kind of judgement would not have been different if the solicitor was not a white male. All in all a balanved and fair judgement. Lets hope he learns his lesson and moves on…and also, some justice for the wronged victim.

Deed U No

Post Discipline – its rumoured, he’s “actively seeking” a job Down Under !

Join the conversation

Related Stories