Labor & Employment

Pro-Se Ex-Associate Gets Green Light to Proceed with NY Suit Against UK Law Firm re Moscow Partner


A fired former associate in the Russia offices of Allen & Overy has been given a green light by a New York judge to sue the major London-based law firm.

Deidre Clark, who made headlines while still working in Moscow for A&O by posting a racy online novel and photos of herself under the pen name Deidre Dare, has prevailed on a motion to dismiss filed by the law firm in state trial court in New York, the Evening Standard reports.

Although one count of Clark’s action was nixed, the other seven counts were OK’d to proceed. Clark represented herself in the suit but will soon have attorney Casey Greenfield on her legal team, the newspaper says.

“I won against Allen & Overy! Isn’t it amazing?” Clark said after the New York Supreme Court ruling. “You can’t imagine how great it feels—pure joy, really. And it’s not just a win. I devastated them.”

While Clark may have won one round, however, she is still far from prevailing with her overall suit, the law firm points out in a written statement:

“We have always been entirely satisfied that the termination of Ms. Clark’s employment was justified and lawful,” Allen & Overy told Above the Law. “We remain committed to defending Ms Clark’s claim vigorously.”

Above the Law provides a link to the 12-page ruling (PDF) on the motion to dismiss earlier this month by Supreme Court Justice Marcy S. Friedman.

While Friedman dismissed a wrongful termination count, she allowed other counts, including sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation to continue because of the at-will nature of Clark’s employment. Clark contends that Allen & Overy used the racy novel as a pretext to fire her after a partner in the firm’s Moscow office developed an unwelcome sexual interest in her.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Allen & Overy Bans American Associate’s Racy Online Novel”

ABAJournal.com: “Fired Over Personal Website, Ex-Associate of Major UK Firm Mulls Options”

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