Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Roscoe Fernandes: The young Lawyer based in U.K.


UK: Roscoe Fernandes: Lawyer of the week

17 April, 2007: The Times (UK). Roscoe Fernandes, a senior solicitor at Freeth Cartwright LLP, the Nottingham firm, acted for Anna Coulombeau, who won one of the first tribunal cases involving adoption rights. Excerpts from the interview: What was your worst day as a lawyer? Probably being told early on as a trainee that it may be wise for me to consider Plan B, which was to become a restaurateur … Who has been the most influential person in your life? A close family friend who suddenly passed away in 2001 just before my graduation from the University of Nottingham … For text of the Times article, 461 words, http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article1660003.ece

See also: WebIT. Landmark Ruling In First Ever Adoption Leave Dismissal Case.
http://www.webitpr.com/release_detail.asp?ReleaseID=5395

Roscoe Fernandes was born in Reading, UK in 1980, the son of Manuel Douglas Ignatius Fernandes and Priscilla Augusta Ora Fernandes who were both born in Zanzibar. He is the brother of Daniel and Tracy who were born in Brighton. He traces his Goan roots to Nuvem (mother) and Raia (father). Roscoe studied at Reading School and the University of Nottingham, and currently resides in Nottingham. His hobbies are Badminton, walking, cinema, theatre, dining out.

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Lawyer of the week: Roscoe Fernandes
Linda Tsang
Roscoe Fernandes, a senior solicitor at Freeth Cartwright LLP, the Nottingham firm, acted for Anna Coulombeau, who won one of the first tribunal cases involving adoption rights. She was unfairly dismissed by Enterprise Rent-a-Car UK Ltd after her expressed intention to take adoption leave. The tribunal also found that she was discriminated against on the ground of her sex, and awarded compensation for unfair dismissal and an award for injury to feelings for the sex discrimination.

What were the challenges in this case and the implications?

When I was first approached by Anna, it was evident that she had been dismissed because she was intending to adopt, but there was no documentary evidence that that was the reason for dismissal. The whole case hinged on the tribunal deciding in our favour on the basis of oral evidence given by the witnesses. It is always more difficult where there are no documents to back up what you are asserting. The implications for Anna were serious — she wanted to clear her name by showing that the real reason for her dismissal was because she intended to take adoption leave. A finding that her intention to adopt was the real reason for dismissal made her dismissal automatically unfair.

What was your worst day as a lawyer?

Probably being told early on as a trainee that it may be wise for me to consider Plan B, which was to become a restaurateur.

What was your most memorable experience as a lawyer?

Without a doubt watching the tears of joy roll down the face of Anna Coulombeau when I told her that all of her limbs of complaint had been decided in her favour by the employment tribunal.

Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

A close family friend who suddenly passed away in 2001 just before my graduation from the University of Nottingham. She was always very supportive of my goals and aspirations, even when I questioned whether or not the law was the correct route for me.

Why did you become a lawyer?

I did not have the stomach to become a doctor. Seriously, the real reason was because I wanted to work closely with people and feel that I was making a difference to their lives, even though this sounds rather clich├ęd.

What would be your advice to anybody wanting a career in law?

Work hard, play hard and you will get to where you want to be.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully as an equity partner in this firm (if I haven’t bought a restaurant by then).

l_tsang@hotmail.com

(Info: courtesy: Goan Voice UK)

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