Britney Spears’s lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, is the latest to step away from involvement in the pop star’s conservatorship, resigning after Spears’s June 23 testimony raised criticism over his handling of the case. Ingham filed for resignation on Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, along with co-counsel Loeb & Loeb LLP, requesting that their resignations take effect after “appointment of new court-appointed counsel.” Ingham did not cite a reason for his departure, nor did he reveal if Spears has chosen new legal representation.
TMZ first reported Ingham’s plans to file documents to leave the case, 13 years after he was appointed by the court as Spears’s lawyer when her conservatorship began. During her landmark testimony to end her conservatorship, in which she described being forced to perform and take lithium, and being barred from removing an IUD so she could have a child with boyfriend Sam Asghari — and specifically emphasized her father Jamie’s role therein — Spears said Ingham “has been scared for me to come forward,” and had told her “to keep it to myself.” (Jamie and Spears’s current conservator, Jodi Montgomery, have each claimed they are working in Spears’s best interest while questioning the other’s role in the conservatorship.) Spears added, “I didn’t know that I could petition the conservatorship to end it,” raising questions over her lawyer’s legal duty to inform his client of her options. Spears said in her testimony that even though she regularly speaks to Ingham, she wants to be able to hire her own lawyer; after her testimony, Ingham told the judge, Brenda Penny, that he would resign from the case if asked.
Sources told TMZ, though, that Ingham disputed Spears’s claim that he never told her she could request to end the conservatorship, and that her contrary claims upset him. News of Ingham’s plans to resign comes less than 24 hours after Spears’s longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, resigned, as reported July 5. Bessemer Trust, which had been managing Spears’s assets as part of the conservatorship alongside Jamie Spears, also asked to resign “immediately” on July 1, claiming the group was told the conservatorship was “voluntary” after initially being brought on in November 2020 by Ingham.