The executive director of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society says he expects the regulating legal group will suspend Lyle Howe now that the Halifax lawyer has been found guilty of sexual assault.

On Saturday, a jury found Howe guilty of sexually assaulting a woman, but not guilty of administering a stupefying drug. The charges were laid after an alleged incident on March 20, 2011, involving a 19-year-old woman.

Darrel Pink says the process will start as soon as Monday.

"It's a serious criminal conviction," he said. "I can't say for absolute sure but my expectation is that Mr. Howe will be suspended."

Pink says it's too soon to say if Howe will be disbarred. 

"We will begin a process now," said Pink.

He says Howe has a large caseload, estimating the size of his practice at a few hundred clients.

The Barristers' Society will appoint someone to help Howe's clients find a new lawyer, says Pink.

"I have no doubt that the courts will co-operate with us," he said.

Howe was working on a number of high profile files. They include:

  • Gerald Rushton, a Truro-area man facing two counts of first degree murder for the deaths of his girlfriend and her daughter.
  • Doreze Beals, one of two North Preston teenagers charged with gang rape and human trafficking involving a 15-year-old girl.
  • Linda Buchanan, the former head of a modelling agency and convicted fraud artist who's waiting to be sentenced
  • Blake Leggette, one of two people charged in the death of Loretta Saunders.