Australian actress Rebel Wilson wants Bauer Media to pay more than $1.3 million in legal fees she incurred while successfully suing the magazine publisher for defamation.
The sum comes on top of the more than $4.5 million in damages Ms Wilson was awarded last year for a series of stories published by a number of magazines, including Woman’s Day, in 2015.
It was the largest defamation damages payout ever ordered by an Australian court.
A day after the comedian and actress tweeted “Girls just wanna have funds”, her lawyers were in the Victorian Supreme Court waging a legal battle over fees.
Girls just wanna have funds x
— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) March 7, 2018
Ms Wilson’s barrister Renee Enbom told the hearing lawyers were effectively quibbling with Bauer Media over a sum of between $100,000 and $200,000.
Ms Enbom said experts engaged by legal counsel for both Ms Wilson and Bauer Media had estimated the actress would be entitled to recover between $1.1 million and $1.3 million in legal costs.
“It’s $200,000, that’s what we’re fighting about,” she said.
It was revealed Ms Wilson’s barrister, Matthew Collins QC, was paid $9000 per day of her 22-day trial – a total of $198,000.
Ms Wilson had offered to settle for $200,000 before the case went to trial.
The court heard Ms Wilson incurred the majority of her legal costs after the settlement was rejected by Bauer Media, including more than $500,000 in solicitors fees.
Both parties have now spent close to $100,000 combined in obtaining assessments from legal costs experts.
Ms Enbom asked the trial judge, Justice John Dixon, to determine the amount of legal costs that should be awarded.
But Bauer Media’s legal team asked for the matter to instead be referred to the Costs Court, which is standard practice.
Its barrister Sarah Cherry told the hearing they did not agree the parties were arguing over a sum of between $100,000 to $200,000.
Justice Dixon reserved his decision on whether to determine the damages or refer the matter to the Costs Court.
Meanwhile, Bauer Media is appealing the damages awarded to Ms Wilson in a hearing set down for April in the Court of Appeal.