Item Coversheet


Meeting Date: 11/7/2018
Item Creation Date: 10/26/2018

LGL-Norton Rose Professional Services Agreeement for Prop B

Agenda Item#: 16.


ORDINANCE approving and authorizing Professional Services Agreement between NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT US LLP and the City of Houston; providing a maximum contract amount



An ordinance approving and authorizing a professional services agreement between Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP and the City of Houston; and providing a maximum contract amount.


The City is seeking a contract in an amount not to exceed $1,340,000.00 for professional legal services with the firm of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (the “Firm”) to represent the City if there is litigation regarding the potential passage of the Pay Parity Charter Amendment appearing as Proposition B on the ballot in November 2018. 

The Firm will also consult with and/or represent the City, as it relates to real property purchases, condemnation services, or other related services, in the following condemnation proceedings:  City of Houston v. West Lake Houston Investments, Ltd., et al., No. 1110028, in Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 1, and City of Houston v. Kim A. Iglesia (as trustee of the Iglesia Family Trust), et al., No. 2017-46364, in the 295th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.  On September 19, 2018, pursuant to Ordinance No. 2018-756, the City appropriated the sum of $20,000,000.00 out of the Water and Sewer System Consolidated Construction Fund and approved and authorized the purchase of easements and other interests in real property and the payment of costs of such purchases and/or condemnations.  It is expected that $250,000.00 of the $1,340,000.00 maximum amount of the contract with the Firm will be used to pay for legal services related to such purchases and/or condemnations (WBS # S-000066-0019-2-01 and R-000536-0023-2-01).

The City recommends the Firm because of its litigation experience and its unique history and knowledge regarding the City’s pension reform and firefighter collective bargaining agreement, as well as its experience in eminent domain matters.  The Firm’s attorneys are experienced and highly capable subject matter experts who have successfully defended complex, high exposure cases in state and federal court.

Hire Houston First: This procurement is exempt from the City’s Hire Houston First Ordinance based on the department’s determination that compliance with the ordinance would unduly interfere with contract needs.

Pay or Play:  The proposed contract requires compliance with the City’s Pay or Play ordinance regarding health benefits for employees of City contractors. In this case, the Firm provides health benefits to eligible employees in compliance with City policy.

M/WBE Information: This professional services contract is being issued with a 24% goal for M/WBE participation. The Firm has designated the below-named company as its certified M/WBE subcontractor:

Name of M/WBE

Type of Work

Dollar Amount

Percent of total Contract

Baker Wotring LLP

Legal Services



Fiscal Note:  Funding for this item is included in the FY19 Adopted Budget.  Therefore, no Fiscal Note is required as stated in the Financial Policies.




Ronald C. Lewis, City Attorney

Prior Council Action:

Ordinance 2018-756, passed 9/19/18


Estimated Spending Authority





Legal Department





Amount of Funding:

$1,090,000.00 - Property & Casualty Fund (1004)

$   250,000.00 - Water and Sewer System Consolidated Construction Fund (8500) (previously appropriated)

$1,340,000.00 - Total


Contact Information:

Tiffany S. Bingham .............. 832.393.6445

Judith Ramsey ......................832.393.6468

Prior Council Action:

Ordinance 2018-756, passed 9/19/18

Amount and Source of Funding:
$1,090,000.00 - Property & Casualty Fund (1004 )
$   250,000.00 - Water and Sewer System Consolidated Construction Fund (8500) (previously appropriated)
$1,340,000.00 - Total
Contact Information:
Tiffany S. Bingham, Sr. Assistant City Attorney..... 832.393.6445
Judith Ramsey, Section Chief, Litigation ................832.393.6468