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Lawyer Mathew Rosengart Closes Chapter of Representing Britney Spears

Lawyer Mathew Rosengart Closes Chapter of Representing Britney Spears

Mathew Rosengart, a powerhouse litigator whose resume includes clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter and a stint as a Department of Justice trial attorney, has a stable of high-profile Hollywood clients like Steven Spielberg, Michael Mann, Sean Penn and Casey Affleck. But it’s his work with Britney Spears in successfully freeing the pop superstar from a controversial, restrictive and highly scrutinized 13-year conservatorship that catapulted the Greenberg Traurig partner into something of a household name and globally recognized legal eagle.

In a swift four months, from July to November 2021, Rosengart dove headfirst into the probate court case after being handpicked by the singer herself with one goal in mind — to free Spears from the arrangement that limited her rights and left all life decisions in the hands of a team led by her father Jamie Spears. Rosengart accomplished that on Nov. 12, 2021, when L.A. County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny granted a petition to terminate the conservatorship. Over the past three years, Rosengart remained on the case to settle loose ends while resolving an ongoing legal dispute with the singer’s father, Jamie Spears, over his attorney’s fees. The latter matter was resolved two months ago, bringing a quieter end to the entire ordeal but delivering an exclamation point nonetheless.

There’s no active litigation at this time, Rosengart has said. “As she desired, her freedom now includes that she will no longer need to attend or be involved with court or entangled with legal proceedings in this matter,” he explained in a statement issued on April 26.

As such, Rosengart is closing the chapter as Spears’ litigator of record as he shifts focus toward to other clients. “It has been an honor to serve as Britney’s litigator, to work with her to achieve her goals in obtaining the court-ordered suspension of her former conservator, followed by restoring her fundamental rights and civil liberties, while continuing to protect her and more recently to extricate her from all outstanding litigation and the byzantine probate court proceedings. As I’ve always said, the credit goes to Britney,” Rosengart says in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Rosengart’s work with Spears over these past three years extended beyond the conservatorship as he emerged wearing many hats as a trusted counsel and point of contact in a number of high-profile negotiations and situations. It is understood, however, that his role in her life was always as a litigator and such an arrangement would always have an end date.

Rosengart played a key role in shepherding a number of deals and developments in Spears’ life. Those included a massive Simon & Schuster book deal for her best-selling memoir The Woman in Me, a prenuptial agreement and subsequent divorce with ex-husband Sam Asghari, a restraining order against ex-husband Jason Alexander (who attempted to crash her Asghari wedding) and more. In May, following an incident at Chateau Marmont that reportedly left her with an ankle injury, Spears credited Rosengart with helping her through the aftermath. “This man is wonderful!!! He’s like a father to me,” she posted. “I adore you and admire you mister Matthew!!!”

For his work, Spears has repeatedly and profusely praised Rosengart through multiple Instagram posts (her primary source of public commentary) and in The Woman in Me. Rosengart has also been hailed as a hero by the pop star’s legions of fans, a group that doggedly propelled the #FreeBritney movement. Though the attention, compliments and numerous accolades and awards may have been a surprise for Rosengart, it wasn’t completely new. Rosengart once triumphed on behalf of Penn in a defamation case against Lee Daniels, and the Oscar-winning actor has since praised his lawyer as a “tough-as-nails street fighter with a big brain and bigger principles.”

Mathew Rosengart speaks outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles on Sept. 29, 2021.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

He previously told THR that he leaned on those principles when taking the case. “I’ve always detested bullying, even growing up,” he told THR. “Bullying a woman is even more unacceptable and abhorrent. It was troubling to me both personally and professionally, and I felt I could help stop it, as a lawyer and otherwise. That’s a pledge I made, and it was really rewarding to be able to help.”

Spears’ life started to change in June 2021, when, for the first time, the singer addressed the court herself, by phone, during a conservatorship hearing. Spears spent more than 20 minutes unloading to Judge Brenda Penny in a scorching declaration of life under the “abusive” restrictions she’d been under since 2008. “It is my wish and my dream for all of this to end,” said Spears who requested during prepared remarks that she be able to hire an attorney of her choosing rather than continue with conservatorship-approved counsel Samuel Ingham.

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Within days, on July 10, 2021, Rosengart made his way to Spears’ residence where, in a pool house, they met to discuss a plan that would see the powerhouse litigator and former Department of Justice trial attorney to take the case. The court approved his appointment in July, and in a swift four months Spears’ wish was granted. On Nov. 12, 2021, Judge Penny granted a petition to terminate the 13-year arrangement in a landmark probate court decision, delivering a seismic shift for Spears that freed her from the conservatorship and opened her life in a way that left her future open ended.

Last October, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 43 that updated the state’s conservatorship laws for the first time in half a century. The bill was designed to give individuals protected rights while also increasing transparency on the process.

When the conservatorship was terminated that day in November, Rosengart fielded a question from reporters outside the court house in Downtown Los Angeles. “What’s next for Britney?” asked a journalist, to which Rosengart replied, “What’s next for Britney — and this is the first time this could be said for about a decade — is up to one person: Britney.”

Michael Mann, Mathew Rosengart, Casey Affleck and Sean Penn at a Variety event at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on April 20, 2022.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Variety

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