Friday 15 December 2017

Judge dismisses claim by former executives over bank's refusal of bonuses

Tim Healy


THE High Court has dismissed two senior bank executives' claims that their former employers owed them tens of thousands of euro in unpaid bonuses.

Roland Lichters and Jurgen Hass, both with addresses in Dusseldorf, Germany, sued Depfa Bank PLC, with registered offices at Commons Street, Dublin, for alleged breach of contract and restraint of trade by deferring part of their bonus for work that they had done in 2007.

Under the terms of the bonus, Mr Lichters, in early 2008, received €200,000 cash with an additional €180,000 cash payment deferred.

Mr Hass, who was paid a bonus of €40,000, had an additional payment of €40,000 deferred.

Both men left the company in 2008, which resulted in the bank's decision not to pay them the deferred bonuses.

They claimed that the bank had wrongfully withheld the deferred payments from them.

They further argued that the bank was not entitled to defer payment of any part of their bonus.

Both sought judgment against Depfa for the amounts withheld.


Depfa denied their claims, and argued it was entitled to defer the awards. The sums, it claimed, were only payable if the pair had stayed on with the bank until 2010.

Yesterday, Mr Justice John Hedigan said both men had "fallen a long way short" of meeting the proofs required to overturn the bank's decision not to pay the deferred bonuses.

He dismissed their case.

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