Sam Ingham, who represents Britney Spears in her conservatorship, reportedly plans to resign as the pop icon’s court-appointed lawyer.
TMZ first reported the anticipated resignation of Spears’ lawyer of 13 years, which comes days after Spears alleged in court that she was not aware that she could terminate the conservatorship, which was put in place in California in 2008.
In a statement before a Los Angeles Superior Court judge last week, Spears said she had not known that she could freely petition to conclude the conservatorship.
“I didn’t know I could petition the conservatorship to end it,” she said. “I’m sorry for my ignorance, but I honestly didn’t know that.”
The revelation came during an emotional court appearance in which Spears said she was being “bullied” by the conservatorship and her father who has held authority over her $60 million fortune. According to TMZ, Ingham was “extremely upset” by her claim that she never knew she could end the conservatorship.
Judge Brenda Penny signed an order on Wednesday denying the singer's request to have her father removed as conservator of her estate.
The request had first been filed by Ingham in November last year and stated that the pop star “strongly opposed” her father as conservator.
In his role as her court-appointed lawyer, Ingham is permitted to charge Britney Spears’ estate up to $10,000 per week, according to court documents. He has repped more than 600 conservatorship, trust, guardianship, and probate proceedings over a career that has spanned nearly five decades, according to a declaration of his credentials submitted in court.
Confidential records previously reported by The New York Times indicated that Britney Spears had been troubled by her father’s role in the conservatorship for years. Beginning in 2014, she had repeatedly asked about ending it, but her lawyer had not filed to terminate the arrangement. Since he was appointed as Spears’ lawyer, Ingham has raked in nearly $3 million.
During the early days of her conservatorship, he appeared to thwart Spears’ efforts to retain trial attorney Adam Streisand who attested that she had a “strong desire” that her father not be a conservator. (A judge ultimately sided with statements from Ingham and a psychiatrist who claimed that Spears lacked the capacity to retain an attorney.)
Representatives for Jamie Spears have maintained that the singer could move to end the conservatorship whenever she wanted. Ingham has not filed a petition to terminate the conservatorship.
The conservatorship was established over concerns about the pop singer’s mental health and potential substance abuse issues. In 2019, a licensed professional conservator took over her personal care.
Ingham’s resignation plans come after Larry Rudolph, Britney’s longtime manager since the mid-1990s, announced that he would be resigning because the pop icon no longer wants to be a megastar. Rudolph on Monday sent a letter to Spears’ father, and the court-appointed Jodi Montgomery, conservator of Spears’ person since 2019.
“Earlier today, I became aware that Britney had been voicing her intention to officially retire... As her manager, I believe it is in Britney’s best interest for me to resign from her team as my professional services are no longer needed,” he said.
Ingham did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The next court hearing is scheduled for July 14.