Mishcon brings home bank bonuses victory

Mishcon de Reya has won compensation for a quartet of bankers who had their bonuses withheld after their employer was bought by Commerzbank.

Mishcon de Reya has won compensation for a quartet of bankers who had their bonuses withheld after their employer was bought by Commerzbank.
German insurer Allianz sold Dresdner Kleinwort to Commerzbank last September. At the time the insurer set aside a e400m (£349.6m) bonus pot for Dresdner employees. In February, however, the bank, which had received an e18bn rescue package from the German government, said it would only pay bonuses to bankers with contractual guarantees.

Mishcon partner James Libson instructed Essex Court Chambers’ Andrew Hochhauser QC to represent the four in their attempt to win compensation from the bank. The High Court upheld their claim and found that Commerzbank breached its contract, failed to pay bonuses and failed to pay severance.

The bank was represented by McDermott Will & Emery, which instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Paul Goulding QC.