Michael Jackson brought in Theodore Goddard to advise him on Granada Television's controversial documentary days before the piece was broadcast

Theodores was appointed on 30 January, five days before the documentary was screened. Jackson contends that he was unaware of its tone until it was broadcast, and it may be that Granada refused to show it to him or his law firm in advance.

But Jackson's decision to instruct Theodores early does not sit easily with his claims that he was surprised by the documentary's content. One source told The Lawyer Jackson considered injuncting Granada before the broadcast.

The documentary showed Jackson telling Martin Bashir that he allows children to sleep in his bed despite a 1993 US lawsuit brought against him for alleged child abuse. Jackson reached a financial settlement with the family involved and the case was dropped. Jackson now claims that Granada infringed his privacy and treated him unfairly.

Theodores confirmed that it has been working for Jackson in connection with the TV show since 30 January, but would not comment any further. It is understood that one of the avenues it is considering is a defamation claim. Jackson's UK representative Richard Elton did not reply to The Lawyer's inquiries.