Bell Yard supported a group of former Dresdner Kleinwort bankers during their high-profile and protracted legal dispute with Commerzbank over unpaid retention bonuses.
From the original claim filed in 2009 through to a High Court Appeal judgment in 2012, this case hit the headlines for a number of reasons, not least because it involved a newsworthy cocktail of high-earning bankers, another b-word (bonuses), the vagaries of two banks’ struggles during the financial crisis, CEOs in the witness box and eminent QCs on parade for successive court appearances (a Summary Judgement hearing, main High Court trial and Appeal hearing). Our brief throughout was to try to limit personal exposure and to ensure the crux of the case (contract-law breach) came through. The aim was to focus attention on the legal team and their cogent and persuasive arguments. Our clients were ultimately successful and were comfortable with the PR outcome. For the most part, media reports during this dispute’s long journey were factual, non-intrusive and balanced.