Public Retirement Law

The Public Retirement Law practice at Olson Hagel & Fishburn is dedicated to providing cutting edge legal advice, representation and consulting services to California's state and local public retirement systems.  Headed by Christopher W. Waddell, former General Counsel of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, together with firm attorneys with exceptional expertise in government law issues and litigation, the practice offers the following services:

  • Rendering legal advice on fiduciary and plan administration issues as well as responsibilities under applicable conflicts of interest, public meeting and public records laws.
  • Litigation in areas such as actuarial and funding disputes as well as independence issues arising under Proposition 162.
  • Consulting and training in the above areas as well as pension fund governance best practices, including the development of board policy and practice in areas such as committee structure, board member education and responsibilities, ethics policies audit committee role and structure, and securities litigation.
  • Counseling on all aspects of compliance, including reporting, disclosure and disqualification requirements, under: (1) ethics and conflicts of interest laws, (2) limitations and prohibitions on gifts and honoraria, as well as (3) revolving door restrictions.
  • Representing clients who are subject to investigation or enforcement actions by regulatory agencies

Our experience includes:

  • Successful representation of the California State Teachers' Retirement System in recovering $500 million of wrongfully withheld retirement fund contributions from the State of California in Teachers' Retirement Board v. Genest (2007) 154 Cal. App. 4th 1012.
  • Providing advice to California public retirement systems on the Public Records Act, independence issues, and conflicts of interest laws and policies.
  • Providing training to public retirement systems on compliance with state open meetings acts.
  • Providing advice to former public officers on the applicability of revolving door provisions.