Criminal Justice

Allen & Overy Partner Is Charged in Child Porn Case in NJ

A senior international capital markets partner of Allen & Overy was arrested yesterday and charged with downloading and distributing child pornography over the Internet on peer-to-peer networks.

Edward De Sear, 64, of Saddle River, N.J., was released on $250,000 bond by a federal magistrate judge in Newark and will be electronically monitored, Reuters reported.

He has not yet entered a plea and his counsel declined to comment.

De Sear’s home was searched yesterday and he reportedly turned over a laptop computer. Officials said federal investigators downloaded material showing prepubescent children being restrained and sexually abused from his shared drive.

His law firm profile, which was active last night but could not be pulled up on the Allen & Overy site this morning, said he works on securitization matters for the capital markets practice group in the New York City office and is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.

An Allen & Overy spokeswoman told the Am Law Daily yesterday that it had just heard about the charges against De Sear and is conducting an internal review.

An Allen & Overy spokesman later released this statement to Legal Week: “Everyone has been shocked and appalled by the news that a lawyer in our New York office, Edward De Sear, has been criminally charged by federal prosecutors in Newark, New Jersey, after being arrested at his home. He has resigned from the firm. This is now subject to a federal investigation so we cannot make any further comment.”

De Sear formerly worked for Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Bingham McCutchen.

The Bergen Record also has a story.

Last updated at 2:10 p.m. to include a statement from Allen & Overy.

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