In Britney Spears’s first big win toward ending the conservatorship she’s been laboring under for 13 years, the pop star was granted her Sixth Amendment right to choose her own attorney on Wednesday, after the resignation of her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III. Apparently, Britney has picked a winner in Mathew Rosengart of Hollywood power firm Greenberg Traurig.
The former federal prosecutor has made The Hollywood Reporter’s annual “Power Lawyer Report” list of the top 100 entertainment attorneys five times, including this year, when he placed in the top 10. He’s also landed on Variety’s “Legal Impact Report” for seven years running so far.
Rosengart’s client roster includes the likes of Steven Spielberg and his Amblin Entertainment, actors Sean Penn, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp, Pearl Jam crooner Eddie Vedder, Shark Tank‘s Daymond John, and the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler—not to mention CAA.
He has repped Penn—who recently called Rosengart “a tough as nails streetfighter with a big brain and bigger principles”—not only as the general counsel of his non-profit CORE, but also in his defamation suit against Empire director Lee Daniels, who mentioned Penn while discussing domestic abuse allegations against Terrence Howard with THR.
Rosengart also won a $14.1 million settlement for New York hedge fund Sandton Capital against Pitch Perfect and My Big Fat Greek Wedding studio, Gold Circle Films, over debt that was sold to the fund.
In the case of Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp, Rosengart successfully blocked Ryder’s testimony in her ex-boyfriend’s disastrous U.K. libel case.
For Butler, Rosengart scored a “walkaway” victory when the NBA star was sued by his former sports talent agency, Independent Sports & Entertainment, LLC, for $1 million it claimed he owed the agency for securing a $5 million Nike endorsement.
Rosengart was also the outside rep for L.A.’s celeb-fueled Kabbalah Centre and the Success for Kids charity during that whole mess when the IRS took an interest in Madonna’s crusade to open a girls’ school in Malawi. Madonna must have been impressed with Rosengart’s work, as she was reportedly quite excited to learn he’ll be fighting for her fellow pop icon.
Rosengart plans to waste no time in trying to remove Spears’s father, co-conservator Jamie Spears, from his client’s business.
“We will be filing as quickly as possible to get Mr. Spears removed from the conservatorship,” he said Wednesday. “If he loves his daughter it is time to step aside and move on so she can have her life back.”
Rosengart also indicated that his team will investigate the arrangement’s origins, saying, “We have questions if this was even the proper forum back in 2008.”
Discussing Jamie Spears outside the courthouse, Rosengart wondered, “The question remains, why is he involved?”
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