1:17pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Michael Jackson Estate Sued Over Legal Fees
In the years since Michael Jackson's death, the pop icon's estate has been repeatedly pummeled with lawsuits ranging from a royalty row with Quincy Jones to a profit suit from the director of "Thriller."
The latest comes from a London-based law firm that claims it is owed more than $200,000 in fees for work it did for the music icon in the two years leading up to his death.
Atkins Thomson Solicitors is suing prominent entertainment attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, executors of Jackson's estate, for breach of contract in a state claim filed Monday in California.
“Defendants have failed to honor Jackson’s obligations under, and has materially breached, the agreement with Atkins, and any implied covenants therein, by failing to make the payments as required,” writes Atkins’ attorney Stanton L. Stein in the complaint.
Atkins claims it provided legal and other services to Jackson from 2007 through 2009, and in the months leading up to his death Jackson’s business in the U.K. ramped up and the firm “provided hundreds of hours of services to Jackson across nearly a dozen matters.”
In November 2009, the firm filed a creditors claim for $204,204.36 and claims defendants refused to pay, finally rejecting the invoice in writing in December 2015.
“The Estate doesn't believe the attorney’s claim for work allegedly done for Michael Jackson is valid and we intend to contest this lawsuit,” says Howard Weitzman, attorney for the estate, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Atkins wants the amount invoiced plus interest and the costs of the lawsuit.