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Newcastle Airport loses case over £8m paid to former directors

The directors of the company which runs Newcastle Airport did not properly understand they had entered into contracts allowing the chief executive and a finance boss to claim bonuses totalling £8m six years ago, a High Court judge said.

Mrs Justice Proudman, presiding, said a former chairman of the board of directors at Newcastle International Airport Ltd - owned 51% by local authorities - had a "blind spot of massive proportions" about the significance of her role at the head of remuneration committee.

The airport owner had sued Eversheds for "alleged negligence" in relation to contracts entered into with former chief executive John Parkin and former finance director Lars Friis, who is dead, in 2006.

Mrs Justice Proudman ruled in favour of Eversheds.

"It is ... common ground that none of the members of the remuneration committee properly understood at the time that the new contracts that were entered into in 2006 enabled Mr Parkin and Mr Friis to claim bonuses totalling £8m"

– Mrs Justice Proudman