Item Coversheet


Meeting Date: 3/8/2022
Item Creation Date: 2/8/2022

LGL-Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Legal Services: Increase Maximum Spending Amount

Agenda Item#: 31.


ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2018-0947, to increase the maximum contract amount for Professional Services Agreement between City of Houston and NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT US LLP for representation of City regarding various issues related to the Houston Firefighters’ Pay Parity Petition and the Proposition on the November 6, 2018, Ballot to amend the City Charter to require parity in compensation provided to Houston Firefighters compared to the compensation provided to Houston Police Officers - $175,000.00 - Property and Casualty Fund


This was Item 16 on Agenda of March 2, 2022


Ordinance No. 2018-0947 approved and authorized a $500,000.00 contract for professional services with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (the “Firm”) to assist, consult, and represent the City regarding various issues related to the Houston Firefighters’ pay parity petition and the proposition on the November 6, 2018 ballot to amend the City Charter to require parity in compensation provided to Houston Firefighters compared to the compensation provided to Houston Police Officers (“Pay Parity Charter Amendment”).  Pursuant to the contract, the Firm has represented the City in litigation styled Houston Police Officers’ Union v. City of Houston, et al., Cause No. 2018-85465, in the 157th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas, and the resulting appeal, Houston Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 341 v. Houston Police Officers’ Union, et al., Case No. 14-19-00427 in the Fourteenth Court of Appeals.  The Firm is currently representing the City in a petition for review before the Texas Supreme Court regarding the Pay Parity Charter Amendment, in Case No. 21-0755, City of Houston, et al. v. Houston Professional Firefighters Ass’n, et al. 


The City is seeking to increase the maximum contract amount from $500,000 to $675,000.00, which represents an increase of $175,000.00.  Expenditures to date total approximately $463,215.67.


The additional funding is necessary to cover the cost related to the City’s petition for review filed in the Texas Supreme Court related to Pay Parity Prop B litigation, including substantial research, preparing for and presenting oral argument, and briefing on the merits.


The City recommends the Firm because of its litigation and appellate experience, including its knowledge and experience in this litigation and in pre-litigation matters involving Prop B, and the Firm’s unique history and knowledge regarding the City’s firefighter collective bargaining agreement and the issues before the court.  The Firm’s attorneys are experienced and highly capable subject matter experts who have successfully represented clients in complex, high exposure cases.


M/WBE Participation:  Office of Business Opportunity approved a 24 % M/WBE participation goal for the Agreement.  To date, the Firm is achieving 12.83% participation, met by the certified firm of Baker Wotring LLP, Debra Baker.  The Office of Business Opportunity will continue to monitor this contract to ensure maximum M/WBE participation.


Fiscal Note:  Funding for this item is included in the FY22 Adopted Budget.  Therefore, no Fiscal Note is required as stated in the Financial Policies.




Arturo G. Michel, City Attorney



                         Estimated Spending Authority


Current FY

Out Year







Prior Council Action:

Ordinance No. 2018-947 (passed November 28, 2018)

Amount and Source of Funding:


Property and Casualty Fund

Fund 1004

Contact Information:

Suzanne Chauvin

General Litigation



Mary McKerall