City Council OKs legal services contract amendment

Richards, Watson & Gershon monthly retainer to increase 3.5%

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The Seal Beach City Council this week approved an amendment to the contract for legal services with Richards, Watson & Gershon. The amended agreement, to be executed by the city manager, would give the law firm’s monthly retainer fee and also the hourly rate for city prosecution services. However, according to the city’s finance director RWG seldom provides city prosecutor services.

This was a Consent Calendar item and was approved collectively, along with several other items, without discussion.

The contract was last amended in 2018, according to the staff report by City Treasurer/Finance Director Kelly Telford.

Specifically, the amendment would increase RWG’s retainer fee from $20,500 to $21,250, effective as of Nov. 1 of this year, according to Telford’s report.  “As of November 1, 2022, the retainer fee would increase by approximately 3.5% to $22,000. Had the retainer fee followed the increases in CPI since the last amendment, the resulting increase would have been over 9%,” Telford wrote.

The hourly rate for city prosecutor services will increase by $10 to $175, according to Telford.

“RWG does not typically provide “City Prosecutor Services,” and would do so only in special circumstances. This increase would represent a 6% increase, however these are specialized services that often require the use of other attorneys in the firm,” Telford wrote.

“RWG prepared the proposed contract amendment, but the City Attorney [Craig Steele] has abstained from providing legal advice on this item as it pertains to the compensation to be paid to his firm,” Telford wrote.

City Council OKs legal services contract amendment