News Litigation Europe Law firms A&O hit with £3.4m claim from erotic-fiction-writing former associate By Margaret Taylor 20 May 2010 15:00 17 December 2015 15:58 Sign in or register to continue reading. It's FREE Sign in Email Password Keep me logged in Forgot your password? Not registered? It's FREE! Register now Register with The Lawyer Dayglo Dave 20 May 2010 at 16:44 If you have an idle moment Google “Rodney Hylton-Potts”. Superb. Top man! And, no, I don’t work for A & O. Reply Link Anonymous 20 May 2010 at 16:46 Makes John De Belin’s claim against Eversheds look like peanuts!! Reply Link Private Eye 20 May 2010 at 17:15 The Hylton-Potts firm not only has an interesting founder, it also has great marketing. See website: From HPLC website: “Here at Hylton-Potts we offer a Harley Street service at local GP, National Health prices…… We have Rolls Royce service at Ford prices – Try us – you will not be disappointed. We accept cheques, cash, debit cards, credit cards and Paypal.” Now, that’s what I call style. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Reply Link Anonymous 20 May 2010 at 17:24 Quoting Ms. Dare’s own words, “…One of my potential clients in Moscow said that he often sees A&O people at whorehouses…” – meaning that Ms.Dare’s potential clients visit whorehouses? And effectively admit to that? Wow. Sounds like this quote from a “potential client” is a work of (bad) fiction on behalf of Ms. Dare. As a long-term resident of Moscow (and as a reader of several chapters of Ms. Dare’s oeuvres on her website) I can say that her imagination is totally running the show, uninhibited by even the slightest instance of fact-checking. And, finally, thanks to Dayglo Dave above – the name partner in the law firm she retained is (for a lack of better word) – “Wow”. Or “Oops” or even “Oh my God” Would love to see how this would work out in the end. Personally, I can’t understand how she slipped through A&O’s selection process. Reply Link FB 20 May 2010 at 17:43 The lurid details notwithstanding (and Ms ‘Dare’ is hardly doing herself many favours by the sound of it…), at the heart of this case lies an interesting point: to what extent does an employer have the right to interfere with an employer’s private life? ‘Bringing the employer into disrepute’ is a dangerously broad concept, and, ultimately, decided by whom? In this case, I guess, a firm’s partners; but have they all been polled? Or is the firm acting corporately? I would doubt any policy exists to cover this within the firm, and one would have to ask whether partners were subject to the same strictures as employees. I think it’s a can of worms. Do people think the firm has the right to dictate what an individual does during their spare time as long as it’s not directly referencing the firm? Reply Link Cyprus Nicosia 20 May 2010 at 18:39 This Deirdre sounds awesome to me. I wished could work with someone like this. Most MC associates are a bit boring to be fair. I think she should sue for personality discrimination too. In that she was probably let go for having one as opposed to being a robot. Reply Link Anonymous 20 May 2010 at 18:42 Perhaps it was the dreadful writing style and grammar on display in the book, rather than the subject matter, that was perceived as likely to bring the firm into disrepute… Reply Link David Ufuoma Omamogho 20 May 2010 at 18:44 I believe every person has a write to privacy especially when it involves sensitive issues as sexual orientation and preferences; However, it has been said your privacy or liberty ends where other’s liberty begins and should not prejudice other’s liberty ; The question for me being thoroughly old school and traditional is “WHAT SPOTLIGHT DOES IT SHINE ON OUR NOBLE AND HONOURABLE PROFESSION; Reply Link Old Timer 20 May 2010 at 22:16 Amazing that A&O are apparently planning to fight this and air their dirty laundry in public. Also pretty disgraceful that they are evidently willing to hang Tony Humphrey out to dray. Whilst it is possible that his behaviour has fallen below acceptable standards, I find that hard to believe, having known him to be a man of complete integrity and scrupulous honesty (albeit a little vain and egocentric). Reply Link Tartan Teddy 21 May 2010 at 09:27 Ouff ..tiny clue there Ladies & Gents ‘a little vain and egocentric’… and far from home. This has ‘watch with Mother ‘ written all over it. These MC firms seem to have a lot of spare time and energy I blame the long hours culture myself – remember that ? Reply Link Travis Perkins 23 May 2010 at 18:13 Old Timer – A&O are hard nosed b*stards. Humphrey is reitring soon so they don;t care if the price of winngin aginst Ms. Dare is him going down in flames. Nice poeple, eh? Reply Link Robert Morgan 24 May 2010 at 03:13 “Dare claims that she and the partner “made out one drunken evening” on a colleague’s couch. In the claim she alleges: “Many witnesses were present. This was a heavy make out session and included tongues, hands on genitalia etc.” ” Erm, forgive me if I am missing something, but is this somehow intended to be supportive of her case? Reply Link Double Dare 24 May 2010 at 13:54 Re Robert Morgan: I suspect that’s an excerpt from one of Dare’s novels as opposed to forming part of her statement of case? Oh wait, no you’re right… In fairness to Dare, I bet she’s great in the sack. Reply Link Anonymous 10 June 2010 at 20:22 I say good luck to her. I suspect all those who have commented that they think her allegations is all part of her over-active imagination are rather fooling themselves. Lots of people do things they shouldn’t, it’s just that most of them don’t their doings aired in public before a Tribunal and in the press. The problem for A&O is that they ought to have settled this some time ago; they didn’t, and now much as they might like to do so, they effectively can’t without giving credence to the claim. Well done. Nice work. Reply Link Baihuzi 7 July 2010 at 08:12 This is a very interesting case. Dare is a seasoned lawyer, who used to work for major international law firms. Putting aside her sexual harassment claim, was she so naive to think that by making her ‘erotic’ story public she would not jeopardize her then current employment or legal career? Did she really believe that she had the right to both be part of the very conservative legal establishment and have her ‘erotic’ work made public? Isn’t it just common sense? I do not buy the argument about clients being seen in ‘whorehouses’ either. This is actually an example of private life and, unless a person decides to go public about it, it should remain private. Anyway, I wish Dare good luck with her career as a writer, as well as her sexual harassment case, if there is any ground for that. P.S. Being an expat in Moscow myself during the same time, I can confirm that Dare’s description of the expats’ life in Moscow is quite realistic. 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