Broker 'loses unfair dismissal claim from City traders after abuse complaints'

Judge says he 'gave worse than he got'

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The Independent Online

A broker has lost a claim that he was bullied into leaving a City trading firm where “homophobic, racist and sexist” abuse was widespread, according to a report.

Robert Bou-Simon, an Australian, claimed he was unfairly dismissed from Canary Wharf firm BGC Partners after staff turned against him because of his weight and because he refused to take part in an initiation ceremony called “the run”, which involved having water and “other liquids” thrown at him.

He said that a member of staff at BGC told him it was “un-Australian” not to take part in the initiation.

However, rejecting his claim of unfair dismissal, Judge Bernice Elgot said he was “not the only object of ridicule and insult” at BGC Partners, The Daily Telegraph reported.

She said that unpleasant insults on the trading floor were “common” and that Mr Bou-Simon “gave worse than he got”.

The judge also said comments made between traders on an instant messaging service were “often homophobic, racist and sexist”.

“Some of the comments about the individuals are offensive and contain the most personal of insults,” she said.

Mr Bou-Simon had admitted using “personally insulting and obscene language towards others”.

And Judge Elgot said colleagues had “deplored his methods generally and particularly his personal attacks on some junior staff”.

Mr Bou-Simon had been employed on a salary of £500,000 but this was cut in half after he failed to make a million dollars a month.