Edward De Sear

On Friday we brought you the story of Edward De Sear, a former partner at several top law firms who now faces a charge of child pornography distribution. De Sear — a graduate of Columbia and UVA Law, who is now one of the nation’s leading capital-markets lawyers — has been a partner at Allen & Overy, Bingham McCutchen, McKee Nelson, Orrick, and Milbank Tweed. As we mentioned in our prior post, the charges against De Sear came as a shock to fellow New York lawyers and to neighbors of his in Saddle River, New Jersey (my hometown — I can walk to De Sear’s place from my parents’ house).

After our story appeared, a former colleague of Ed De Sear came forward, to share some recollections. “I’m completely stunned,” said this attorney.

What could our source recall about De Sear?

I worked with Ed [at some of his prior firms]. He endeared himself to me, because he was trying so hard to quit smoking and would sometimes break down and have a drag of someone else’s. Then he would stand away from the smokers, so he wouldn’t smell of smoke. The story was that he didn’t want his wife to know that he still enjoyed a smoke sometimes. Given that [by this time] he was already a very distinguished partner, it humanized him for me.

Alas, if the charges against him are true, De Sear may be all too human — and may have had things to hide from his wife other than smoking.

He might’ve been worried, purportedly, that his wife would suspect he’d had a drag, but he wasn’t worried that the legal assistants, secretaries and junior associates who congregated outside for cigarettes would know that he was worried. I dunno — I know that’s a small thing, but partners aren’t known for showing their normalness to underlings.

Very true of many partners. Sometimes it seems that, after you make partner at a top firm, you’re supposed to act superhuman in front of subordinates. It’s nice to hear that De Sear was not made from this mold.

Our tipster was also impressed by Edward De Sear’s efforts to get to know his colleagues as people. “I don’t think most of the [other] partners I’ve worked with ever learned my name,” said this source.

Finally, De Sear served as a font of financial advice:

He also took every opportunity to warn me against carrying a balance on credit cards — which was kind of funny yet suitable, since he did credit card derivatives stuff.

I sincerely hope this isn’t true, that he’s another person with a horrible neighbor getting revenge.

It’s certainly possible. We will keep you apprised of further developments. If you have recollections about De Sear that you would like to add, please email us (subject line: “Edward De Sear”). Thanks.

Earlier: Allen & Overy Partner Accused of Kiddie Porn Purveyance
This Lawyer Had the Worst Neighbor Ever


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