A senior capital markets lawyer in Allen & Overy's New York office was arrested yesterday and charged with downloading and distributing child pornography.

Edward De Sear appeared in wrist and ankle shackles in a Newark court yesterday following the execution of an arrest warrant at his home. De Sear has been released on $250,000 bail and will have to wear an electronic tag.

The highly-regarded securitization lawyer - a top-ranked partner hired by the Magic Circle firm from Bingham McCutchen only last year - has resigned from the firm (although you can check out a cached version of his A&O profile here).

  Edward De Sear

According to reports, De Sear admitted to FBI agent Joshua Wilson that he had used a laptop - which he handed over to officers - to download and share child pornography over peer-to-peer networks. If found guilty, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, and a potential maximum sentence of 20 years - and a $250,000 fine.

A spokesman for A&O said "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 and so we cannot make any further comment."
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