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Verdict delivered in bonus case against Commerzbank

Today 104 ex-Dresdner bankers won a highly publicised three year battle against Dresdner/ Commerzbank for unpaid retention bonuses that were promised to them at the end of 2008.

Mark Levine and Daniel Naftalin, Partners at Mishcon de Reya, represented 21 of the bankers and commented on the decision:

We welcome the High Court's decision today confirming the Bank's contractual obligation to pay retention awards promised to our clients in exceptional circumstances in 2008.  Dresdner made repeated promises to employees prior to its sale to Commerzbank in an attempt to avoid a mass exodus of staff - namely that they would be financially rewarded from a guaranteed retention pool for remaining at the bank and performing well. We welcome the High Court ruling that these promises constituted a binding contract and, with the staff having performed their side of the contract, that the Bank breached it by refusing to honour the payments it had promised. This case is likely to have significance whenever employment contracts are varied, particularly on the basis of verbal commitments or actions.