Bankers pursue £42m in unpaid bonuses

More than 100 London investment bankers yesterday launched a claim in the High Court for £42m in unpaid bonuses from the German banking giant Commerzbank.

Andrew Hochhauser, QC, representing 21 of the 104 bankers, accused Commerzbank of trying to "move the goalposts" when it used a "material adverse change" clause in December 2008 to slash the bonuses by 90 per cent in the wake of the global banking crisis.

Mr Hochhauser told Mr Justice Owen that the bankers had received "binding and enforceable contractual promises" at a town hall meeting in London in August 2008 that the bonuses would be paid.

"Put briefly, those promises have not been honoured, and that is why we are here today," he said.