The High Court has given short shrift to an employer's argument that a senior employee's duty of trust and confidence/good faith or fiduciary duties could oblige him to waive his right to a contractual bonus when the employer suffered massive losses during the banking crisis.

Summary judgment was given in the employees' favour, ruling that employees cannot be obliged to forego their contractually promised remuneration simply because the employer's financial situation changes after the promise is made. (Fish v Dresdner Kleinwort, HC)

Further similar cases are due to be heard by the court this year, some of which may focus on the effectiveness of a clause permitting changes to bonus awards if material adverse events occur.