The Town of Parker has decided to hire a new law firm for town attorney services. At a special meeting Aug. 28, the Parker Town Council accepted a proposal for attorney services from Pierce Coleman. They are the new town attorney firm, replacing the town’s long-time firm, Gust Rosenfeld.
Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer said Pierce Coleman had offered a flat fee of $60,000 per year. Gust Rosenfeld’s offer was $78,000 per year. Some council members noted the Town paid Gust Rosenfeld $92,000 in legal fees last year.
Wedemeyer said Pierce Coleman has several clients who were once with Gust Rosenfeld.
In looking for legal services, Wedemeyer said she sent requests for proposals to six law firms. She said three of them told her they couldn’t take on any new clients at this time. She received two proposals, one from Pierce Coleman and the other from Gust Rosenfeld.
Council Member Marion Shontz asked Wedemeyer if she had contacted any of the references Pierce Coleman had provided. She said she had contacted the Town of Tolleson, and they were pleased with Pierce Coleman. She added Tolleson had been clients of Gust Rosenfeld.
Council Member Frank Savino said Gust Rosenfeld had ties to other entities in La Paz County, and this could lead to conflicts of interest.
Wedemeyer said the Town had seen a succession of attorneys from Gust Rosenfeld after Scott Ruby retired. He had been the Town’s long-time attorney from that firm.
“I don’t want you to feel tied to Gust Rosenfeld because they’ve been here for so long,” Wedemeyer said. “We’ve had several attorneys from them, and, each time, it’s like starting with a new firm.”
Mayor Dan Beaver said Gust Rosenfeld has been difficult to work with over the last two years.
“We’re not getting our money’s worth,” he said.
Pierce Coleman was established in 2015. Their clients include the Cities of Tolleson and El Mirage, and the Town of Fountain Hills. They are also the sole provider of employment law services for the Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool. They have offices in Mesa and Scottsdale.