If, as seems likely, Julian Assange walks free from the high court tomorrow, his triumph will be a brief one. As well as a looming extradition battle with Sweden, he faces a familiar headache known to defendants everywhere: how to pay his lawyers? Since his dramatic arrest last week, and incarceration in Wandsworth jail, Assange’s legal bill has been growing.In theory, the founder of WikiLeaks is sitting on a pile of cash. But currently all his bank accounts are frozen. And his legal costs are separate from donations to WikiLeaks, which since October 2009 have reached €900,000 (£770,000).Today Assange’s lawyers said they were trying to organise a legal defence fund to pay for his bills, including ones he is likely to incur in his extradition hearing in February.Asked whether Assange has any cash at all, his solicitor Jennifer Robinson said today: “No. We have a huge amount of supporters [willing to donate money] but have nowhere to pay it.”Once Assange’s legal bills are met, any additional contributions will be used to pay WikiLeaks’ running costs, she said.Assange’s legal team now includes Robinson, the media expert Mark Stephens, and the human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, who successfully argued that Assange should be granted bail. A week ago their costs had already topped £60,000, sources suggest.Assange’s legal team are also scrambling to raise £240,000 from his friends and supporters. They include Jemima Khan, Ken Loach and John Pilger, as well as Vaughan Smith and Sarah Saunders, and the US film director Michael Moore. By yesterday afternoon not all of their cash pledges had been paid into court.WikiLeaks’ finances remain healthy, despite the decision by Visa, MasterCard and PayPal to stop accepting donations. The US credit card companies severed their ties with Assange last week, arguing his whistleblowing website had been acting illegally. Their decision, apparently following strong US pressure, prompted a furious backlash online.But it is still possible to give money to WikiLeaks. The main conduit for donations is Germany’s Wau Holland foundation, a charitable Berlin-registered trust established by a group of now respectable German ex-hackers. The foundation is named after a legendary German computer specialist who founded the ComputerChaos Club and died in 2001.It has a bank account with the Commerzbank, based in Kassel. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Hendrick Fulda, a foundation board member, said donations to WikiLeaks had boomed since the publication of more than 250,000 US state department cables. The decision by the eBay subsidiary PayPal to dump WikiLeaks had not halted this flow, he said.