Law firm sues Michael Jackson’s estate for $200,000

Atkins Thomson Solicitors is seeking legal action over alleged unpaid fees

A London law firm has claimed they are still owed more than $200,000 ($142k) by the Michael Jackson estate for work they carried out for the pop icon in the two years prior to his death.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Atkins Thomson Solicitors is suing executive John McClain and entertainment attorney John Branca, the executors of Jackson’s estate, for breach of contract.

The solicitors say they are owed over $200,000 in fees, equivalent to around £142,000, according to a state claim filed in California on Monday (March 21).

Atkins’ attorney Stanton L. Stein wrote in the official complaint: “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”.

In 2009, Jackson faced similar accusations by the director of his ‘Thriller’ video, John Landis, who filed a suit after claiming he had not been paid profits made from the clip in the previous four years.

This comes a week after Sony agreed a multi-million deal to take full control of a Michael Jackson publishing deal, meaning that the Jackson estate would lose the rights to a catalogue of songs by artists such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift and Eminem. The purchase was made to help alleviate the reported $250m (£177m) debt Jackson left upon his death.

It has been reported that Paul McCartney has started the process to acquire rights to the Lennon/McCartney back catalogue, formerly owned by the Jackson estate.