Why does Britney need permission to appoint her own lawyer?

Britney Spears has been allowed to choose her own lawyer to end her high-profile conservatorship after an emotional plea in court on Wednesday

Why does Britney need permission to appoint her own lawyer?
(Image credit: Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic/Getty)

Britney Spears has finally been allowed to appoint her own lawyer in her high-profile conservatorship case, leaving fans wondering why she needed to ask permission in the first place. 

The US pop star celebrated a major triumph in her ongoing battle to end her conservatorship today—the right to select her own attorney. 

Spears has been living under the controversial legal status, which gives her father Jamie full control of her finances, for the past 13 years. The singer asked to be released from the conservatorship in a Los Angeles court last month, revealing she is "depressed" and "traumatized" by its restrictive conditions. 

Within minutes, reactions to the Britney Spears hearing were flooding Twitter—with celebrities like Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake speaking out in support of the beloved musician. 

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In a significant development in her case, Spears was granted the right to appoint her own lawyer following another emotional plea in court on Wednesday (15 July). Mathew Rosengart, a prominent celebrity attorney, has now been approved by Judge Brenda Penny to replace the singer's previous lawyer. 

Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)

Mathew Rosengart has been approved as Britney Spears' new lawyer 

(Image credit: Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios))

Joining the courtroom via phone, the Grammy-award winner said, "I’m here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse." She also demanded an investigation be conducted into these allegations of abuse, adding, "This conservatorship has allowed my dad to ruin my life." 

Rosengart, who has previously represented Hollywood heavyweights, Steven Spielberg and Sean Penn, confirmed that he will push for Jamie Spears to be removed from the conservatorship if he does not step down voluntarily. 

“We will be filing a petition as soon as possible to remove Mr. Spears, subject to our formal retention,” he told AFP. 

Why did Britney Spears need permission to appoint her own lawyer? 

Spears was represented by Samuel Ingham, a court-appointed lawyer, since the beginning of her conservatorship in 2008. At the time, the pop star was deemed mentally incapable of finding her own legal representation. 

Ingham offered his resignation from the role on July 6, after Spears accused him of failing to help her end the conservatorship. 

His replacement, Mathew Rosengart, petitioned to allow Spears to choose her own client by citing the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the US constitution on Wednesday. 

"Ms. Spears does absolutely have a constitutional right to select her own attorney," he told Judge Brenda Penny. 

After the request was approved, Britney took to Instagram to share her delighted reaction with her fans. 

“Coming along, folks … coming along !!!!!" she posted. "New with real representation today … I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED !!!! Thank you to my fans who are supporting me … You have no idea what it means to me be supported by such awesome fans !!!! God bless you all !!!!! Pssss this is me celebrating by horseback riding and doing cartwheels today !!!!”

According to lawyer and Free Britney campaigner, Lisa MacCarley, Spears should never have been under the representation of Ingham for so long. 

"The use of court-appointed counsel was meant as a backup, it was never meant to be the go-to move by the judicial officers," the California attorney told ABC news.  "There are no laws that would allow a judge to fire an attorney of the conservatee's judge and replace them with a court-appointed attorney." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.