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Lehrmann to learn legal bill for failed defamation case

Bruce Lehrmann is expected to face a multimillion-dollar legal bill when a judge rules on who will pay for the bulk of his failed defamation case against Ten.

Bruce Lehrmann leaves the Federal Court after last month's defamation judgement. Photo: AAP

Bruce Lehrmann leaves the Federal Court after last month's defamation judgement. Photo: AAP

In April, the ex-Liberal staffer suffered a legal loss after the Federal Court found an allegation that he raped Brittany Higgins in a Parliament House office in March 2019 was most likely true.

The 28-year-old had sued for defamation over a February 2021 report on The Project in which journalist Lisa Wilkinson interviewed Ms Higgins over the rape allegation.

Since the findings against Lehrmann, the parties have been in dispute over the legal costs and who should foot what is expected to amount to a sizeable legal bill for the long-running and high-profile case.

Justice Michael Lee will resolve the issue on Friday afternoon, when Lehrmann is expected to be ordered to pay at least some of Ten and Wilkinson’s costs.

Earlier in the week, the court heard he had no financial backers and that his lawyers had agreed they did not need to be paid if he lost the case.

Ten will be liable to pay Wilkinson for at least a portion of the legal costs she incurred for retaining her own lawyers.

The network can then claim this back against Lehrmann as part of its own expenses.

However, a referee will be appointed to examine whether the journalist could have avoided unnecessary costs in the way she ran her case.

Lehrmann has until May 31 to appeal the defamation case finding.

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