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Domonique McRae discusses the decision in Swissport Ltd on whether a ‘period’ costs award may be made when a party has entered into a DBA

11 July 2017

Swissport Ltd v Exley and others (UKEAT/0007/16/JOJ) concerned a number of employees, predominately baggage handlers, who on 1 April 2013 were subject to a transfer from Servisair UK Ltd to Swissport Ltd, a large ground-handling agent, following its acquisition of a contract which serviced a particular airline.

Eight of the affected employees, who were found to have been unfairly dismissed when Swissport Ltd refused to accept that they transferred to it by virtue of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, funded litigation against the company by way of a damages-based agreement.

Upon conclusion of the tribunal claim (in which collectively they were awarded sums in excess of £380,000), the claimants made an application for their costs on the basis that the respondent’s defence had no reasonable prospects of success and were awarde...

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