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Koolhaas sues accuser's legal team to recoup £500K costs

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NEWS

Rem Koolhaas is fighting to recover the £500,000 costs lost in the failed plagiarism case against him - from the lawyers who acted for his accuser.

Koolhaas' lawyers will argue next week that council for Gareth Pearce should not have pursued the case, which was founded on the opinions of discredited expert witness Michael Wilkey.

They will make a case that 'no reasonable lawyer in the land' would have continued with the eight-year legal battle on the basis of Wilkey's report, which was slammed by the judge hearing the case.

Paddington-based Wickham Van Eyck Architects has also been in correspondence with Wilkey about his arbitration of a case concerning its Zander Restaurant scheme.

Meanwhile, Wilkey - who the judge said had 'failed in his duty to the court' and 'bears a heavy responsibility for this case ever coming to trial, with its attendant cost, expense and waste of time' - has been reported to the RIBA, the ARB and the Academy of Experts for investigation.

There are also suggestions that Wilkey has been working as a full-time, professional expert witness. The Academy of Experts was unable to comment on his particular case. However, chairman emeritus Michael Cohen said that experts were called upon for their practical experience.

'Being an expert is a secondary profession, ' he said.

A spokesperson for Wilkey said he was unaware of the latest action. 'To his mind, all participants acted within the bounds of their own professional integrity, ' he said. And he added Wilkey was 'looking into' the complaints of Wickham Van Eyck.

Pritzker Prize-winning Koolhaas was cleared in November of secretly photocopying Pearce's plans for Docklands Town Hall and incorporating elements into his Kunsthal art gallery building in Rotterdam (AJ 8.11.01).

He will find out in a preliminary hearing on 31 January whether his cost application can proceed.

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