The German government is considering whether to appeal a court ruling that awarded £40 million in compensation to the descendents of a Jewish family whose chain of 20 department stores in Saxony was seized by the Nazis.

Their review of options comes after a Berlin court awarded the substantial sum to the Jewish heirs of Schocken AG, which was set up in 1931 by Salman and Simon Schocken but which was taken in 1938.

The family had already been paid £12 million in compensation but had argued that this substantially undervalued the business. Last week, a judge agreed, after a 20-year legal pursuit by the family.

Family lawyer Bernd Wilhelm Schmitz said: “We are very happy to finally have the Jewish victims compensated after almost a quarter of a century of legal battles. This hasn’t been a case like any other, moving us very much on a personal level as well.”