Britney Spears will now be allowed to hire her own lawyer in her ongoing conservatorship legal battle, Judge Brenda Penny ruled at a court hearing in Los Angeles on July 14th.
Last week, Britneys Spears’ court-appointed lawyer of thirteen-years, Samuel D. Ingham III, announced his resignation. Ingham resigned after Spears emotional court statement on the conservatorship last month, which saw Spears claim she “didn’t know [she] could petition the conservatorship to be ended.”
The statement led to questions about Ingham’s culpability in upholding a system a Spears described as “abusive.” As New York Times report, Ingham earns $475 an hour and has made nearly $3 million on Spears’s case.
Ingham had not filed a petition to end the conservatorship. However, in November, he moved to have Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, removed from the conservatorship — a motion the judge denied.
“He told me I should keep it to myself,” Spears said of Ingham during her statement. “I know I’ve grown a personal relationship with Sam, my lawyer. I’ve been talking to him like three times a week now. We’ve kind of built a relationship, but I haven’t really had the opportunity to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself. And I would like to be able to do that.”
Ingham was appointed as Spears’ legal representative in 2008. Spears had no say in the matter, which is traditional for a conservatorship. Following Spears’ request to hire an attorney of her own, Ingham filed paperwork to resign on July 6th.
Following Spears’ court address, the singer’s longtime manager Larry Rudolph resigned, citing that Spears intended to retire, and he would no longer be of service to her.
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Bessemer Trust, the wealth-management firm that was set to take over as co-conservator of the Spears estate also requested to withdraw from the conservatorship. The judge approved this request today — potentially leaving Jamie Spears as the sole conservatorship of Spears’ estate.
As Variety report, Spears has been in talks with celebrity lawyer Mathew Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor who has previously represented the likes of Steven Spielberg, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Keanu Reeves.
Hiring Rosengart as her legal representative would be Spears’ first drastic step in terminating her conservatorship altogether.