Attorney General Sunshine: H.B. 198 (2018)
Prohibits any contracting body, including all constitutional officers and executive
Prohibits any contracting body, including all constitutional officers and executive branch agencies with contracting authority, from entering into a contract for legal services that provides for payment by contingency fee unless the head of the contracting body determines in writing that the contingency fee is both cost-effective and in the public interest. Sets forth reasonable limits on the amount of contingency fee paid to outside counsel and prohibits the contingency fee from exceeding $20 million. Requires the Attorney General or head of the contracting body to retain control over the course and conduct of the case, to attend settlement conferences, be personally involved in overseeing the litigation and have exclusive decision-making power regarding any settlement. Within 5 business days after the contract is awarded, the Finance and Administration Cabinet is required to post each contingency fee legal service contract on its website with the accompanying written determinations from the head of the contracting body. Any payment of contingency fees will also be posted on the website within 15 days after such payment and will remain posted for one year. Each year, by September 1, the Finance and Administration Cabinet and contracting bodies will submit a joint report to the Government Contract Review Committee identifying all contingency fee contracts for legal services and detailing the status of each contract, law firms hired for each contract, amount of recovery for each contract and amount of contingency fee paid, if any. Clarifies that all contingency fee contracts are also subject to the Kentucky Model Procurement Code.