Edenbeck Limited v Stevenson [2023] EAT 128

Appeal against the compensation awarded to the successful Claimant and against a costs order made against the Respondent. Remedy judgment upheld, costs order appeal allowed.

The Claimant won her claims of direct sex discrimination in respect of a number of incidents and aspects of her treatment during the course of her employment succeeded. Complaints of discrimination arising from disability also succeeded. At a further hearing the ET made awards of compensation for injury to feelings, aggravated damages and interest in respect of the successful complaints. It also made an award of costs in favour of the Claimant. The Respondent appealed against those awards.

The EAT dismissed the remedy appeal but allowed the appeal against the costs order. On a correct reading, the ET had found the costs threshold to have been crossed on account of a number of particular features of the Respondent’s conduct of the litigation which it found to be unreasonable. The ET erred in respect of one of those matters, as it could not properly be said to have been unreasonable conduct, as such, for the Claimant to have been cross-examined on the Respondent’s case, when it was not suggested that the cross-examination itself was unreasonably conducted. The ET also erred by failing, having determined that the costs threshold had been crossed, to take the next step of deciding, then, whether to make an award of costs, and if so, in what proportion or amount, taking account of the nature, gravity and effect of the unreasonable conduct found, and instead proceeding directly to decide that the Claimant should be awarded 100% of her costs incurred in pursuing the successful complaints.


Published: 20/10/2023 15:13

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