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Florida Cabinet Increases Transparency in Private Attorney Contracting for State Pension Fund

January 26, 2010

Today, Attorney General Bill McCollum urged the Florida Cabinet, which unanimously agreed, to apply principles of transparency and accountability to the master agreements with any law firms selected to represent the State Board of Administration (SBA) in potential securities litigation. The decision places a cap on attorneys' fees that are retained on a contingency fee basis of $50 million. The law firms will also be required to adhere to appropriate record keeping standards.

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink offered a friendly and well-received amendment to the proposal which further requires the SBA to review proposals from each law firm competing for the contract award to submit fee estimates so that the State can retain as much of an award as possible. This requirement also sparks competition among the law firms vying for the opportunity to represent the state.

The measure applied to the SBA today by the Florida Cabinet is very similar to legislation that is currently moving through House and Senate Committees that would apply the same transparency and accountability requirements to the Attorney General’s office.  Attorney General McCollum is spearheading this effort, and AIF joins him in advocating for its passage during the 2010 legislative session.

With so much money at stake for the citizens of Florida, AIF salutes General McCollum and the other members of the Florida Cabinet for unanimously approving this measure which will establish accountability to ensure participants in the pension funds receive maximum dollars in recovery.

For additional information on this important issue, please contact Attorney General McCollum’s office at 850-414-3300.