Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has agreed to pay San Diego $2.8 million to settle a malpractice suit that contended the law firm failed to uncover the extent of the city’s unfunded pension debt in time to help avert the problem.San Diego city attorney Michael Aguirre announced the settlement yesterday at a press conference, report the American Lawyer and Daily Journal (sub. req.). Orrick is among several law and accounting firms sued for malpractice after providing advice on the city’s bond offerings.“I brought this lawsuit because I believed Orrick should have discovered the pension problems earlier than it did in September 2003, at which time Orrick advised the city that its financial statements had failed to properly disclose the scope of the shortfall of funds in the pension,” Aguirre said.Orrick admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, and the city has included the law firm on a list of potential bond counsel for future offerings. Orrick spokesman Allan … [Read more...] about Orrick Agrees to Settle San Diego Malpractice Suit for $2.8M
Aguirre law firm
The State Bar of California is seeking copies of legal bills from law firms that have performed work for San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre, including Latham & Watkins and Heller Ehrman, the San Diego Union Tribune reports.For at least a couple months, the bar has been investigating Aguirre’s legal work, the newspaper says. It has asked for bills that Aguirre received from the two law firms, three lawyers not associated with the firms, and a private arbitrator.Latham has billed San Diego $10.7 million since December 2004 for a variety of legal work, while Heller Ehrman was paid nearly $432,000 in a lawsuit over benefits for city employees. … [Read more...] about Calif. Bar Subpoenas San Diego Legal Bills from Latham & Watkins, Heller Ehrman
The top assistant to San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre said yesterday that a California bar investigation of his boss might be politically motivated.Don McGrath, Aguirre’s top assistant, said yesterday that “somebody’s pressuring” the bar’s lead investigator to move ahead with the probe, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.“I will say there is somebody at the top that is pushing the buttons, and I am sure it is a great political thing to hang this over his head,” McGrath said, according to an account by Fox6 News.One issue in the investigation is whether Aguirre had authority to pursue a lawsuit seeking to eliminate some pension benefits for city workers, the newspaper explains. Aguirre maintains he has that authority regardless of the city’s stance. Yesterday the city council agreed to waive attorney-client privilege and give the bar transcripts of a private meeting in which it discussed Aguirre’s authority to file the … [Read more...] about City Attorney’s Top Assistant Says Bar Probe May Be Political
San Diego’s city attorney has filed a malpractice suit against Willkie Farr & Gallagher. It claims that the high-powered New York City-based law firm overbilled and exceeded the scope of its agreed representation to help a consultant and municipal audit committee prepare a report on the city’s financial failures.After the project morphed into an 18-month, $20-million effort, City Attorney Michael Aguirre filed what technically amounted to two malpractice suits, one on behalf of the city and the other on behalf of state taxpayers, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He did so without the San Diego City Council’s approval, which could prove controversial, the newspaper notes. The San Diego Superior Court litigation seeks $29.2 million, triple the $9.7 million the city paid Willkie Farr.A representation letter says Willkie was to provide “counsel and assistance” to the consultant, Kroll Inc., as well as to work on “other matters that … … [Read more...] about San Diego Sues Willkie Farr
The election loss of San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre could also be a loss for Latham & Watkins.The law firm has defended the city in several lawsuits and racked up some impressive appellate victories, but its “most-favored-firm status could be in jeopardy” with Aguirre’s defeat by state court Judge Jan Goldsmith, the Am Law Daily reports.Goldsmith has promised to cut spending on the city’s outside counsel, and Latham’s billing rates are among the city’s highest, the story says.Partner Kristine Wilkes and her appellate team were able to overturn an award of more than $94 million obtained by a developer against the city, according to the article. The firm also recovered attorney fees in the case and obtained a settlement against the city’s insurer for delaying payment of defense costs in the case.Wilkes told the Am Law Daily she thinks she can maintain a good relationship with the city, even though she donated $640 to Aguirre’s … [Read more...] about Will Latham & Watkins Lose San Diego Legal Work?
On 29 October the Argentine Congress approved an amendment to the Federal Hydrocarbons Law which will improve investment conditions in the Argentine oil and gas industry (the “Amendment”). The Amendment represents the most significant change to the Federal Hydrocarbons Law since its enactment in 1967. It improves investment conditions for the Argentine oil industry in a number of ways, including: (i) extending exploration and production terms, (ii) creating a special type of concession for unconventional hydrocarbon projects with longer terms and lower royalties, (iii) capping royalties and bonus fees, (iv) reducing Government-take in certain types of projects, and (v) reinstating the right to export a percentage of oil and gas production while maintaining abroad the export proceeds. The benefits introduced by the Amendment are available to both new entrants and existing players.Importantly, the Amendment has been supported by both the Federal Government and the … [Read more...] about Argentina: Amendment of the Hydrocarbons Law