foulston trib

Deans, Foulston and Rosenblatt are set for a tense reunion.

Nicola Foulston, the sacked Chief Executive of the RBG law group, is being sued by a black partner who has accused her of racism.

Noel Deans was the head of employment at Rosenblatt, one of the firms under the RBG umbrella, until he left in 2020. 

Deans has also sued the firm and its founder and senior partner, Ian Rosenblatt, as well as another Rosenblatt partner, Anthony Field.

The former partner has alleged unfair dismissal, race discrimination, victimisation, harassment, and a failure to provide him with a safe place of work. He also claims he is owed money.

Foulston was unceremoniously ousted last week after the RBG board said it had lost confidence in her leadership and had become aware of 'cultural issues'.

RBG declined to confirm what those cultural issues were, but some - not necessarily the same ones - came to light in the judgment for a preliminary hearing concerning Deans' claim.

The judgment revealed that Foulston admitted in her defence that she used the phrase “nigger in the woodpile” in front of Deans during a dinner.

Ian Rosenblatt told RollOnFriday that he was in attendance and had publicly condemned her for her language. 

“Foulston used the n-word, there were twenty-odd people in the room", he said. "I immediately called it out in front of everybody and said, ‘You cannot say that, that is absolutely unacceptable’."

Despite protesting Foulston's behaviour, Ian Rosenblatt and Deans later fell out.

The partner agreed in his defence that he called Deans “a fucking anti-Semite”, and agreed that he raised a grievance against Deans over the suggestion in Deans’ resignation letter that he was racist, because the accusation “was untrue”.

Ian Rosenblatt told RollOnFriday the fiery exchange took place when "I gave him some work from a client of mine who’s Jewish, and I agreed a fee with that client which was good for me, and I told Deans what the fee was, and he said, 'That's not enough. You people all stick together'”.

“So I said, ‘You're a fucking anti-Semite’, which I did say and I admit saying which he said, ‘I can't be an anti-Semite, I go to Arsenal at the weekends’. So I then raised a grievance internally about the fact that he was an anti-Semite which never got anywhere as he then walked out”.

Jon Divers, COO of Rosenblatt, stuck up for his senior partner in an all-staff email on Thursday evening.

“I want to make it clear to the entire firm, and for anyone not aware of the details of the case, that Ian Rosenblatt was doing what I hope we would all do by calling out racist language and - on a separate occasion nearly two years later - subsequent antisemitic language”, said Divers.

“Ian called out unacceptable behaviour on two distinct occasions, taking the appropriate action by immediately filing a grievance when he himself was the target of antisemitic comments”, he said in the email, which was leaked to ROF.

“The idea that Ian is personally under scrutiny – in a public forum no less – for doing the right thing is abhorrent. I hope that everyone one of us would do the same in a similar situation. It is unfortunate that this seems to have been conflated with the recent exit of our former CEO and I want to make sure that everyone in this firm is clear on the timeline and the truth.”

Deans, who was formerly a barrister and now practices as a solicitor, worked at Rosenblatt for three years and was previously a partner and the head of employment at K&L Gates’ London office. He is now a partner and head of employment at Blaser Mills Law. Deans did not respond to requests for comment.

The preliminary hearing dealt with an application by Foulston, Ian Rosenblatt and the other respondents to strike out Deans’ claim on the basis he had not pursued it for 28 months until late 2022.

Deans told the court he didn't actively pursue the matter because of the pandemic. "I considered that I had to be patient, as there were thousands in a similar position", he said, adding that "I am not aware of any obligation on a Claimant to proactively chase Employment Tribunals, let alone in the exceptional and unprecedented circumstances mentioned above, regardless of their profession”.

The final hearing is due in October. The respondents, who deny that Deans was constructively dismissed or that he was subject to discrimination, claim he was dismissed "for a reason that related to his capability".

Foulston could not be reached for comment, while RBG and did not respond to requests for comment.


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Tip Off ROF


Anon 10 February 23 09:30

Rosenblatt is an obscure West End law firm. Hardly surprising that it is so dysfunctional.

Anonymous 10 February 23 09:36

I’ve worked with Mr Rosenblatt, and he is a lot of things, not all good, but the man is not a racist. 

Anon 10 February 23 09:52

Ms Foulston sounds very unpleasant. And Mr Rosenblatt should watch his language, too: swearing at a colleague is unprofessional.

Anonymous 10 February 23 10:13

Mad.  They're all mad.

In my day I'm photocopy my arse with nothing on and leave it on their desk or take a dump in someone's desk draw.

Why can't we go back to the old days when things were done properly?

Anonymous 10 February 23 10:17

@Anon - I'm not sure that I'm particularly troubled by the issue of swearing at colleagues when the swearing is a direct response to anti-semitism.  

In much the same way that I'm not that upset when I hear that people have made rude gestures at paedophiles.


You may choose to feel differently of course... if you think that the real issue here is coarse language.

Anonymous 10 February 23 10:20

@10:13 - this chap understands how it should be.

Back in the day that law firms used to care about cash then you'd have solved this by having a screaming up row in the corridor, throwing a mobile phone the size of an encyclopaedia down the hallway, dropping a steaming turd on the bonnet of their car, and then going for a bath in a mound of cocaine to relax.

The next day you'd all be back to making bank as if nothing had happened.


Happier times.

Anon 10 February 23 10:59

Nicola Foulston is 55 years old. She's not some old biddy who is still using the wording of her youth (even my 80 year old mother and my grandmother, who would be 112 if she was still alive, never used that word). What kind of 55 year old thinks that using the n word is still ok?  Even has it in their vocabulary as a word to use "by mistake"?  

Anon 10 February 23 11:28

While I think the issue around the use of that word is generally pumped up by over-zealous types looking for victim points, see young people getting lambasted because they sang along to rap lyrics; racial slurs, like all slurs, swears, and similar are not professional language.

I have known older professional who in private would have made the late Prince Phillip look like a blue haired student from Brighton with their unpolitic views on every race, colour, creed and proclivity under the sun. But they would never utter an unprofessional word in front of a colleague or client. 

09:17 seems to have the best assessment of the situation. 

Anon 10 February 23 11:28

Anon 10 February 23 09:52: agreed. It doesn’t befit a managing partner to behave in that way.

Anon 10 February 23 11:41

Anonymous 10 February 23 10:17: the anti semetism is only an allegation and has to be proved. The only matter not in issue here, because they are admitted, is the language used by Foulston and Rosenblatt, which was unacceptable.

Anon 10 February 23 11:49

Anonymous 10 February 23 10:17: alleged anti semitism. It has not been proved. But Rosenblatt admits using foul language. 

Anon 10 February 23 12:16

Anon 10 February 23 11:28: 100%. 

Foulston and Rosenblatt undoubtedly behaved unprofessionally.

Anonymous 10 February 23 12:44

@11.41 - what further proof of anti-semetism are you looking for?

Do you perchance have exceptionally strong views about Palestine?

Do other foreign policy issues tend to excite you quite so much?

Anon 10 February 23 13:33

Anonymous 10 February 23 12:44: the allegation of anti semitism is just that - an allegation. If it is found by the tribunal to have happened, then it becomes a fact and has been proved. Most people understand how this works - including the operation of due process - even if you don’t.

Anonymous Anonymous 10 February 23 13:40

Another legal expert not knowing the law and out of touch with society. Promotes a bad image of the legal profession. Bring on the robotics giving advice on legal matters.

Lydia 10 February 23 15:01

Ian Rosenblatt sets it all out well there, but all these claims by the BAME employment lawyer and by the lady who has left are a waste of everyone's time and money. Makes me glad I don't work with colleagues and my firm is just about only one person.

Sic friatur crustumlum 10 February 23 15:06

Well, mateys, I have known them both and I'd stick with her rather than him.


Jat 10 February 23 16:08

Is the SRA going to take action against the idiot non-lawyer Foulston for her racist remarks.....probably not? Why do floated firms attract deranged sociopaths as leaders?

anon 10 February 23 17:08

@Jat 10 February 23 16:08: the SRA should take action against Ian Rosenblatt for his foul language - especially if the tribunal rejects his allegation of anti-semitism.

Friendship Squad 9000 10 February 23 18:55

Can I just say, that it is wonderful that despite the various backgrounds and differing opinions on this website we have finally found unity.

No matter where you stand on politics, foreign policy, brexit, trump, gender, economics, wokery, pet choices, wordle or loo roll. We can all agree that everyone involved in this story is perhaps, acting somewhat more foolish than they should.

Anon 10 February 23 19:32

I’ve worked at Rosenblatt, in employment law too, and well cannot say I’m surprised by this latest …. 

Non denominational 11 February 23 14:32

@ anon: 17.08: let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

If he is right then presumably you would agree that it is Deans that should be booked in to see the SRA.

Anonymous 11 February 23 18:29

@ Anonymous 10 February 23 10:20

How do you know she is a chap?

Are you aware of unconscious bias?

Have you ever had unconscious bias training?

Do you like trains?

Anon 14 February 23 10:10

I used to work at Rosenblatt. It is such a weird place, and the senior lawyers are the sort of third rate people who couldn’t make it in a proper firm.

Brian Owen 15 February 23 17:08

Going by the goons that frequent the RoF discussion board, is anyone really surprised about this story?

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