Deidre “To Russia With Donkey and Dwarf Love” Dare is struggling with the cash flow these days. The Columbia Law grad’s London lawsuit against Magic Circle firm A&O for unfair termination in its Russia office was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, so she filed a new complaint in New York. As you might expect from an amateur sex novelist, the complaint is rather juicy. Dare (a.k.a. Deidre Clark), who was a senior attorney in A&O’s London, Singapore and Moscow offices from 2007 to 2009, claims that she was terminated after giving into — and later spurning — her supervising partner’s sexual advances. (Excerpt: “[Tony] Humphrey made sexual advances on Clark, who was intoxicated at the time. This conduct included intimate sexual contact. Humphrey kept saying “I love sex.”)
Dare is upping the ante on the lawsuit. In London, she sued for £3.5m, but in her Big Apple lawsuit, she’s hoping to take a bigger bite out of A&O: namely, $35 million in punitive and compensatory damages.
“I think NY will take jurisdiction,” Dare, a member of the New York Bar, told us by email. “And thank god for that.”
In the meantime, Dare is working on another project that is, er, rather racy….
She’s trying to raise funds for her smutty sexy novel: she’s seeking $25,000 to publish Expat, which is based on a BP scandal that went down in Moscow during her time there. In a video plea for help, she says, “I’ve exhausted my resources fighting my former employer.” We were on an email that went out to dozens of people, including partners and associates at her old firm, Skadden, Goodwin Procter, Clifford Chance, McGuire Woods, and Bingham (she neglected to use the good ole bcc). How close is she to her goal?
Dare writes, “Even though my book is a novel, my law firm fired me for writing it. After all, people had sex in the novel and we all know lawyers don’t have sex and therefore shouldn’t write about it.”
(That’s certainly the impression I’ve gotten from Courtship Connection.)
It’s just a “sexy little adventure story,” she says in her video plea for money, free speech, and “creative freedom from our employers.” She has until July 15 to raise the $21,500 she needs to publish. Should she fail to make it to $25K, she gets nothing at all (that’s the way Kickstarter works).
In that case, she’s hoping the legal system will kickstart her publishing project by siding with her in her nine-count lawsuit against Allen & Overy for sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent retention and negligent supervision, defamation and conspiracy. A&O tells the Lawyer, “We’ve always been entirely satisfied that the termination of Ms. Clark’s employment was justified and lawful.”
(To add insult to injury (or injury to insult), after a tribunal in the UK dismissed Deidre Dare’s case, Allen & Overy sent her a bill for £70,000.00 in tax refunds that were paid to her in 2007, 2008, and 2009, which the firm claims should have been paid to A&O.)
If you’re thinking about donating to her cause, you can get a sense of her writing style from the complaint, available below. Sadly, though, there are no dwarfs or donkeys in these pages.
Clark v. Allen & Overy [New York Supreme Court (PDF)]
A&O faces fresh claim from erotic-fiction-writing former associate [The Lawyer]
ЭКСПАТ, n. Expat: a work of fiction [Kickstarter]
Earlier: Previous coverage of Deidre Dare