Fees paid by Lisa Wilkinson to Sue Chrysanthou SC in defamation case revealed

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Federal Court documents have revealed journalist Lisa Wilkinson was billed $8,000 for each full day in court by her lawyer Sue Chrysanthou during Bruce Lehrmann’s failed defamation case.

Mr Lehrmann lost his defamation action against Network Ten and Ms Wilkinson, which was brought over an interview with Brittany Higgins when she first alleged she’d been raped.

Justice Michael Lee found that on the balance of probabilities Mr Lehrmann did rape Ms Higgins at Parliament House in 2019, and that Network Ten had proved its truth defence

Ms Wilkinson this week returned to court as she attempts to recuperate about $1.8 million in legal fees from Network 10 after she decided to be represented separately.

According to The Daily Telegraph, court documents released by the Federal Court on Thursday detail numerous invoices issued to Ms Wilkinson throughout the years-long legal battle; the most recent being an invoice dated May 9 for $405,328. The fee is listed as being for Ms Chrysanthou’s counsel.

Similar fees dating back to mid-2023 ranged in size from $10,340 to $97,988 before GST was added. The largest single invoice issued to Ms Wilkinson was dated February 29, 2024: amounting to $576,224.72 after GST, it included news subscriptions and lunches.

Network Ten’s lawyers said they don’t dispute that they have to pay Ms Wilkinson’s legal fees, but do not want to pay for things that have been doubled up.

The case will return to court next month as part of the work to determine what costs should be awarded.

Source: ABC News and The Daily Telegraph.

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