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How class action firms acquire pension-fund clients



Sponsoring conferences is one way, but according to this first-person account by Edward Siedle in Forbes, there's a more sure-fire way, throwing referral fees at lawyers who represent the pension funds in other matters:

By agents, they meant local lawyers who represent pensions in other matters and are supposedly motivated solely by the best interests of their clients.

Many, however, are also eager to supplement their legal practices with hefty class action referral fees and other compensation. In my opinion, if local fund counsel is promised contingent fees for reeling in class action business, its advice risks becoming conflicted. That financial conflict should, at minimum, be disclosed.

I asked the Milberg Weiss partners whether public pensions were told of payments made to local fund counsels. A laugh went through the room "We won't answer that question until you join the firm," I was told.

He turned down the chance at a lucrative job with Milberg, which now says the partners named in the account have departed the firm and that it "know[s] nothing about the specific actions described by Mr. Siedle."

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.