LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Los Angeles law firm claims in court that Courtney Love owes it $436,000 in legal fees, after keeping a team of lawyers busy with a litany of lawsuits, a stream of text messages, lengthy voicemails and other matters.
Keith A. Fink & Associates sued Courtney Michelle Love in Superior Court.
Fink claims Love contacted his office in January 2009, and signed a retainer agreement that April. Love needed defense counsel on two lawsuits against her, according to the complaint.
“Love also wanted KAF&A to handle other pending legal disputes, including but not limited to her claim that she and her daughter Frances Bean Cobain had been defrauded by various individuals and entities out of ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ in royalty income stemming from her late husband Kurt Cobain’s rock band ‘Nirvana,'” the complaint states. “Love later explained to Fink that she wanted Fink to serve as her general adviser and ‘consiglieri’ in her financial, business, and other affairs.”
Fink claims that Love agreed to pay her legal bills in a “timely” fashion, at $595 per hour for partners and $350 an hour for work by the firm’s associates. As time went by, Fink says, Love’s demands increased as her legal challenges mounted.
“A number of these disputes and lawsuits centered on Love’s alleged failure to pay various third parties for services rendered,” the complaint states. “Little did KAF&A know that it would subsequently be forced to join their ranks.”
The complaint lists a number of cases in which Love allegedly was involved, including a $975,000 claim by London & Co. that went to arbitration, a libel complaint from fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, a $352,000 claim for an American Express credit card bill, and two claims involving Laird Norton Tyee Trust Company’s control over Love and her daughter’s share of Nirvana royalties.
Other cases the firm worked on include a $58,000 claim filed by a security company tasked with guarding one of Love’s Los Angeles homes and a wage complaint filed by her former housekeeper, according to the complaint.
Fink claims that Love “thrust upon” it a number of other issues, such as lease disputes and insurance matters, and sought advice about touring under the name “Hole” after the band had broken up.
“Throughout this entire process, Love sent KAF&A hundreds upon hundreds of text messages in response to KAF&A’s case status updates, which messages were often difficult and time-consuming for KAF&A simply to interpret,” the complaint states. “She also repeatedly telephoned Fink at bizarre and late hours of the night.”
Fink claims Love showered his firm with gifts and praise for the work it did on her behalf, as her legal bills skyrocketed. Fink claims Love’s representatives assured the firm that she would pay once she could get to her money, as attorneys worked to resolve a dispute with her bank.
But when she could get to her money, Fink says, she claimed that she had to pay off other debts, which “totaled tens of thousands of dollars per month.”
“Notwithstanding her continued failure to promptly pay KAF&A for services rendered, Love simultaneously continued to spend tens of thousands of dollars per month on various personal expenses, including but not limited to months-long stays at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles and the Mercer Hotel in New York. Love stayed at these hotels despite leasing multiple homes simultaneously in Los Angeles,” the complaint states. “Love also spent tens of thousands of dollars for various personal assistants who charged her hundreds of dollars for measly tasks such as tidying up her hotel suite and picking up coffee for her at a nearby Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.”
By October 2009, Love’s bill had “ballooned” to more than $400,000, according to the complaint, and by the end of the retainer deal, she had paid only $82,000 on a $518,000 debt.
The firm demands its balance of $436,000, plus interest.
Fink claims it has discovered that Love failed to pay lawyers she hired before it hired Fink, and that she forced them to go to court for their money too.
The law office is represented by Keith A. Fink, S. Keven Steinberg and Olaf J. Muller in Los Angeles.