Court of Appeal ruling fails to deter millionaire City worker fighting for bigger bonus payout

City workers paid millions in bonuses will continue to fight through the courts for more money despite the Court of Appeal quashing such a bid last week, lawyers have claimed.

Commerzbank has taken the Court of Appeal’s ruling against its former employee James Keen as justification of its right to set bonuses as it sees fit.

Keen claimed Commerzbank was “irrational and perverse” in only paying him bonuses of £1.5m in 2003 and £1.6m in 2004. He claimed his line manager recommended higher bonuses.

A Commerzbank spokeswoman said: “We have maintained that Mr Keen’s bonus was within the terms of his contract. We are very pleased that the court has ruled that the exercise of the bank’s discretion was reasonable and appropriate.”

Legal experts said the decision meant employees would face an uphill struggle to win bigger bonuses in the future.

But Thomas Ince, senior associate at law firm Reed Smith, said: “Workers that feel hard done by and under-rewarded will not be deterred by this ruling. With bumper bonuses expected in the City, we could see a spate of claims.”

Keen has vowed to take his claim for £5.4m in unpaid bonuses to the House of Lords.

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