A major lawsuit between Hollywood celebrity Johnny Depp and his former legal representation was settled in California for an undisclosed amount. Depp had earlier sued his lawyers for $50 million, claiming legal malpractice. The case against the law firm emerged from Depp’s previous claim against his former business representatives, TMG. Depp claimed that he had never had a clear contract with his lawyers and had paid excessive fees over years of representation. He also claimed that his lawyers had worked with TMG for their own financial benefit and contrary to the interests of Depp, their client.
The lawyers denied the allegations, but the malpractice litigation led to the retirement of one of Hollywood’s longest-serving entertainment attorneys. The firm’s attorney said that it settled the case for “a fraction” of Depp’s demand, saying that the settlement was necessary to continue its winding-down plans. He also claimed that the firm continued to be confident of a positive outcome had the case reached trial. On the other hand, Depp’s attorney claimed that the case ended with an “eight-figure” settlement, indicating that the former firm was eager to settle the case after a negative preliminary decision in court.
The judge hearing the case ruled that the oral contingency fee agreement Depp had with his former lawyers was illegal. The judge noted that lawyers in the entertainment industry must abide by the rules of the profession. The precise amount of the settlement has not been released, but some estimate that it is in the range of $10 million.
People who hire attorneys rely on them to provide strong, accurate representation, but sometimes they wind up dealing with incompetent or unethical lawyers. Those who have been harmed by legal malpractice can consult with an attorney about the potential to seek compensation for their damages.