Britney Spears’ mum joins legal battle against her dad
Britney Spears’ mother Lynne has said the costly legal fees racked up by her ex-husband Jamie in his conservatorship battle with the singer are “improper”.
The singer was first put under a court-ordered conservatorship in 2008 following a mental health crisis, giving her father substantial control over her life. Over the last year, Britney has been battling in the courts to have her father removed from the arrangement.
As part of the terms of the conservatorship, Britney Spears must pay both her own legal fees and her father’s costs – which reportedly amount to around $2 million – and her mother isn’t happy about it.
Lynne Spears objected to “substantively improper” fees of $890,000 charged by Jamie’s law firm Holland & Knight to Britney in court papers filed on Monday, according to PEOPLE.
In the court document, Lynne accused the law firm of charging for services that were not “performed in good faith for the benefit” of Britney.
Britney’s mum pleaded with the court to examine fees racked up by the law firm for communication with the media, which amount to at least $224,000. Lynne said these funds should be “immediately repaid” to the singer.
She claimed that the law firm engaged in “unnecessary” work that amounted to a “national media tour”, which saw Jamie’s attorney Vivian Lee doing interviews with a number of journalists about the conservatorship.
Lynne’s court filing argues that Thoreen’s media engagement was specifically organised to “combat media coverage that cast Mr Spears in a negative light”. Furthermore, Britney’s mum said Thoreen’s media appearances conflicted with the singer’s “wish for privacy”.
Britney Spears’ mum Lynne says legal fees are ‘utterly excessive’
“The conservatee’s life has been under a media microscope, and the last thing she wishes, desires, or derives any benefit from his her conservator’s attorney spending [her] money to promote herself in the same media that scrutinises everything that happens to [Britney],” the document says.
Lynne went on to claim that the number of hours the firm racked up while representing Jamie was “utterly excessive for the litigation-related services” it had completed.
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She said the legal fee incurred by Holland & Knight was over $200,000 more than “all of the other law firms combined” for “similar work done”.
Lynne Spears’ intervention comes just weeks after Entertainment Tonight reported that Jamie had incurred millions of dollars worth of court costs and fees as part of his fight to retain control of his daughter’s affairs.
Jamie Spears remains in control of Britney’s estate, a role he now holds alongside financial firm the Bessemer Trust.
Britney is fighting to have her father removed as conservator of her person, and to have care professional Jodi Montgomery appointed to the role instead.
PinkNews has contacted Holland & Knight for comment.