60 Second Interview with Ian Rosenblatt OBE, Rosenblatt Solicitors

25/07/2016

Ian Rosenblatt is the founder of City law firm; he received an OBE in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours List

60 Second Interview with Ian Rosenblatt OBE, Rosenblatt Solicitors

Tell me about Rosenblatt Solicitors

Rosenblatt Solicitors is the independent City law firm that I founded in 1989 and have grown organically ever since. We are known for achieving outstanding results for our clients across all areas of corporate law – dispute resolution, M&A, employment, property, regulation… Our clients are ambitious entrepreneurs and CEOs of FTSE companies – united by a desire for world-class advice but with a personal touch.

What is your greatest achievement, or proudest moment?

I was extremely proud to receive the OBE for philanthropic services to music this year. I have had a lifelong passion for music – specifically opera and the voice. My passion outside the law is to support young singers and to provide a platform for great talent from around the world to perform in recital in London. I set up Rosenblatt Recitals in 2000 and today it is an internationally acclaimed concert series – that has to be one of my greatest achievements.

 Ian Rosenblatt OBE (1)

What would your superpower be?

A superpower that enables me to bend the minds of judges so that we always win.

What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?

Operatic tenors of the 20th Century between 1945 and 1980.

If you weren’t the Senior Partner of Rosenblatt Solicitors what would you be doing?

Running my music shop, Les Aldrich, in Muswell Hill. I bought the shop when the owner decided to sell it – I have been going to the shop for over thirty years and it is a local institution. We don’t need another Starbucks so I bought it and now I have a Saturday job! I always joke with my wife that one day we might run it full time but I can’t see that happening…

Which event in your career has taught you the most?

One Saturday in 1986, I was in the office on a Saturday and the telephone rang. The call was from a barrister’s clerk – he needed a lawyer to go to Bow Street Magistrates’ Court with counsel to attend a client. The client had been arrested and was being remanded – he was the chairman of one of Malaysia’s biggest banks; he had been charged with fraud in Hong Kong and was to be extradited. I saw him, sat in court and then was asked to see him in Pentonville on Monday. He hired me and became the longest remand prisoner ever. The case was known as the Carrian Case. I learned more than I had ever learned before – I handled the extradition and appeals, worldwide injunctions, civil cases against him and his business affairs. I was just 27. I travelled to Hong Kong where I got admitted as a solicitor, and Malaysia. This was the catalyst for setting up Rosenblatt Solicitors.

What career advice can you offer?

Read newspapers – you need to understand the context in which you are operating.
Listen – people miss so many nuances and opportunities by not listening and reading a situation.
Meet and speak don’t just email – so much is done by hiding behind emails instead of speaking to someone to resolve an issue; it takes a lot longer and achieves a lot less.

What one thing can you not live without?

The ability to hear – I love music so much.

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

Al Pacino, obviously.

Which famous person would you like to have dinner with?

David Bowie.

What's the skill you'd most like to have?

To be able to master an A flat – I am a baritone but my top notes are work in progress.

And finally… what keeps you awake at night?

In a law firm, you don’t have the same visibility of earnings as in many other areas – you have cases. The team at Rosenblatt Solicitors has achieved so much over the last 27 years and 2015 was a record year for the firm but only the paranoid survive.


Ian Rosenblatt was born on 2 November 1959 in Liverpool. He is the founder and senior partner of corporate law firm, Rosenblatt Solicitors. In 2000 he established Rosenblatt Recitals, London’s only world-class series of opera recitals – the series is today based at the Wigmore Hall. He also launched the Branscombe Festival in Devon which in 2016 will celebrate its fourth year. Ian is Honorary Co-Treasurer of the Royal Philharmonic Society, a trustee of the Chilcott Scholarship Fund for young singers and a trustee of the National Museums Liverpool. He co-founded Redleaf Communications in 2000 with his wife, Emma Kane.