The company which runs Newcastle Airport has been told to pay the costs of a multimillion-pound legal dispute with a firm of solicitors, despite "formally" winning, lawyers say.
Airport chiefs had sued Eversheds in relation to contracts entered into with former chief executive John Parkin and former finance director Lars Friis in 2006, which allowed the two men to claim bonuses totalling £8 million.
In October 2012, a High Court judge dismissed a claim for damages.
But an appeal by the airport appeal was "formally" allowed, and Eversheds was ordered to pay ''nominal'' compensation of £2 because they should have provided a "memorandum" explaining a summary of changes to contracts.
Now a spokeswoman for Eversheds says that they have been awarded costs for both the first trial and the appeal, meaning the airport with have to pay both legal bills.
In a statement the airport said the decision on costs would not result in a "call" on the public purse because insurance was in place.
One of the most advanced passenger planes in the world has landed at Newcastle International Airport. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been specially designed to make it quieter and more fuel efficient than any other airliner in its class
The visit was the first time the aircraft has come to the North East. It is expected that the 787 will be used by Thomson's for holiday flights out of Newcastle next year.
Newcastle Airport has called on the government to cut Air Passenger Duty (APD) to help regional airports.
From next April, Air Passenger Duty will rise to £13 per head from the current £12, for any internal UK flight and short haul destinations to Europe.
Going much further is already very pricey. A family of four flying to the States currently pays £268 in tax compared with just £38 for a similar journey from France.
Newcastle Airport's Graeme Mason was one of a number of regional airport executives to give evidence before the Commons Transport Select committee. He told MPs the biggest single immediate difference ministers could make to the success of local airport would be a cut in Air Passenger Duty.