Law Firms

Allen & Overy Bans American Associate's Racy Online Novel


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Screen shot of Deidre Dare's "Expat" website.

Updated: A senior associate at Allen & Overy has stopped publishing her online novel after the London-based magic circle firm apparently told her that it was too racy.

“While an unidentified Allen & Overy spokesman would not directly comment on the action taken against associate Deidre Dare and her Web-published novel, Expat, he did say the law firm had strict rules about employee conduct,” reports United Press International, relying on an earlier article in the Daily Telegraph.

In an e-mail interview with the ABA Journal, Dare declined to discuss whether it was the firm that put the kibosh on the novel. She also declined to say whether she has been suspended. Her profile page, sans photograph, remains active on Allen & Overy’s website.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Dare, a 40-something American international finance lawyer who joined A&O last year and works in its Moscow office, says in a message posted on her website that she has been “forbidden” to publish additional chapters of her novel there.

Eleven chapters of the serialized online novel remain posted. It focuses on the romantic life of an expatriate living in Russia.

As to the book, Dare defends Expat as “a work of fiction.” She notes that the book doesn’t involve lawyers or law firms. And despite some characterizations in the media, she says, “it is most certainly not porn.”

Dare says, “It is more like A Year in the Merde,” featuring the exploits of the fictional Paul West and, as the author’s site explains, details the “pleasures and perils of being a Brit in France.”

Dare concluded the correspondence by saying, “To me, if [the firm] prohibited me from writing further chapters and suspended me for a work of fiction, then that goes too far. Perhaps we can understand it if someone is ‘blogging,’ but fiction? How far would these rules go? It is food for thought, especially since most lawyers are frustrated writers.”

Last updated Feb. 11 after follow-up post about Dare.

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