Barrister Jack Feeny from No5 Chambers has represented Angela Cobbina, former head of legal at the London branch of ABN AMRO, who brought claims for discrimination and unfair dismissal. Feeny is a specialist employment practitioner.
Cobbina alleged that her manager had made racist comments to her including ‘let’s talk about all things black’ and ‘we cannot even see you in your picture’.
During the trial, it was revealed that the manager at the centre of the allegations was a supporter of the controversial Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) tradition, which involves white people in the Netherlands ‘blacking up’ and acting as Santa Claus’s foolish black servant.
The case was reported in the national press including the Daily Mail and The Independent. Owing to the Black Pete controversy, the case was also widely reported in the Dutch press.
At the end of the two-week trial, the tribunal upheld the claimant’s unfair dismissal claim but did not find for her on the discrimination allegations. Reasons for the decision are to be provided in writing at a later date.