Dewey & LeBoeuf has gone head to head with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer over the proceedings brought by a Bahraini prince against singer Michael Jackson.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the second son of the king of Bahrain, is suing Jackson over claims that the reclusive 50-year-old breached a contract to record a new album, write an autobiography and a stage play.
Freshfields, acting for the sheikh, is claiming that Jackson owes $7m (£4.65m) after the prince paid the singer in advance for legal costs, travel and other expenses. Jackson’s legal team, however, is arguing that the money was a gift.
The news comes as Jackson’s silk Robert Englehart QC of Blackstone Chambers said the former king of pop plans to testify in the high court next Monday.
“Mr Jackson is intending to travel to this country…and will be available to give evidence to your lordship,” Englehart told the High Court.
Englehart had initially argued that Jackson was unwell and should not travel, with the backing of the medical report.
The Sheikh’s lead counsel, Bankin Thanki of Fountain Court Chambers, said that Jackson had a habit of producing a “sick note” when he did not wish to attend court.
Englehart, along with counsel Andrew Green, also of Blackstone Chambers, was instructed by Dewey partner Peter Sharp for Jackson.
Dewey was instructed following its merger with LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae last October (TheLawyer.com, 26 September 2007). LeBoeuf had just months earlier acquired the entertainment boutique that represents Jackson (The Lawyer, 11 June 2007).
Thanki and David Murray, both of Fountain Court, were instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Phillip Croall.