Actress Eva Green is set to receive more than £1million for her legal costs after winning a High Court battle over the fallout of the abandoned sci-fi film.
In October 2019 the 42-year-old successfully sued White Lantern Film after production on A Patriot, claiming she was entitled to her million-dollar (£810,000) fee for the film, despite its cancellation , under the terms of their agreement .
White Lantern Film and lender SMC Specialty Finance (SMC) brought a counterclaim against Ms. Green, alleging that she undermined the production of the independent film and abandoned the contract.
In a ruling in April, Mr Justice Michael Green found in Ms Green’s favour, ruling she was entitled to fees and dismissing the counter-claim.
The case returned to London’s High Court on Friday, which heard the actress’ estimated legal bill was around £1.7million.
Edmund Cullen Casey, for the Casino Royale star, made a bid for interim payment of Ms Green’s £1.4 million legal fees, which is around 83% of the estimate.
However, James Goodwin for White Lantern Film and SMC argued that the “appropriate figure” for the interim payment was £650,000, approximately 70% of Ms. Green’s previous cost budget.
Mr Justice Michael Green ruled that the actress should be given an interim payment of £1.2 million ahead of a further hearing before an expert judge to finalize the bills to be paid by White Lantern Film and SMC.
During Friday’s hearing, Ms Green also won a bid to have her total legal fees assessed more favorably by an expert judge.
Mr Cullen told the court the actress last year offered to settle the case if she was given $900,000 (£728,000) of her fee, with White Lantern Film and SMC taking the rest of the money and accrued interest.
The court heard that as the offer was not accepted, Ms Green’s costs after August 2022 would be assessed on an indemnity rather than a standard basis – a decision which is more favorable to Ms Green in the context of the amount of her legal bill which has to be met. She can recover. ,
She is also entitled to a 10% interest rate on those costs and a lump sum payment of £75,000.
On Friday, Mr Cullen asked for all of Ms Green’s legal fees to be assessed on this more favorable basis.
In written submissions, the barristers said: “The defendants sought to abuse the process of court by mounting and maintaining a defense based on false evidence and a counterclaim, and the court should indicate that such conduct is indemnified with costs.” making the order is unacceptable.”
He told the court: “It was a case built on a lie…. They made that bed, he should lie down in it.
Mr Goodwin said there would be little practical difference between the two valuation methods but the cost should be determined on a common basis.
He said in the written submission: “The conduct of the respondent has not been ‘outside the norm’ of the litigation.”
The barrister said: “It is accepted that the court did not believe the defendants’ witnesses.
“However, it is often the case that the parties will present competing factual narratives about what happened, and the court must decide which narrative to believe, with the inevitable conclusion that the opposing narrative is not to be believed.” “
Mr Justice Michael Green ruled that all of Ms Green’s costs should be looked at on a more favorable basis, adding that it was not “normal and proper conduct” for witnesses to provide “knowingly false” evidence.
He said: “Her defense was essentially based on a lie and I believe that without the false evidence there would be no defense to Ms Green’s claim.”
However, the judge ruled that the actress could not claim costs related to the late disclosure of certain messages between her and her agent during the trial.