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Maeve Bannister

Higgins and Lehrmann seeking compensation

Two former Liberal Party staffers at the centre of a discontinued rape trial are expected to seek compensation worth millions of dollars.

Brittany Higgins plans to sue her former employers and pursue a multi-million dollar claim from the Commonwealth.

The man Ms Higgins alleges raped her, former colleague Bruce Lehrmann, is also considering an insurance claim and defamation action.

Lawyers for Ms Higgins are pursuing a civil claim against senators Michaelia Cash and Linda Reynolds, both former ministers who Ms Higgins worked for between 2019 and 2021.

The civil claims come after criminal charges against Mr Lehrmann were dropped.

ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold said he would not pursue the sexual assault charges against Mr Lehrmann in a retrial because of the "unacceptable" impact it would have on Ms Higgins' mental health.

He said it was no longer in the public interest to continue with the proceedings because of the risk it posed to Ms Higgins' life.

Mr Lehrmann's first trial in the ACT Supreme Court was derailed by juror misconduct.

Ms Higgins alleges Mr Lehrmann raped her in 2019 inside Senator Reynolds' ministerial office, for whom they both worked as staffers.

Mr Lehrmann has consistently denied the allegation.

Following the 2019 federal election, Ms Higgins moved to the office of then-employment minister Michaelia Cash to work as a media advisor.

Ms Higgins intends to pursue civil court action this month.

Three respondents named in legal correspondence sent by Ms Higgins' lawyers were Senators Reynolds and Cash as well as the Commonwealth.

The documents set out Ms Higgins' intention to sue for sexual harassment, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, negligence, and victimisation.

The claim is expected to be worth about $3 million, including $2.5 million for future economic loss, past economic loss approaching $100,000 and general damages of $100,000.

Blumers law firm - representing Ms Higgins in her civil claim - said it would not comment on any aspect of what would be a confidential matter.

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