The administrators that run the Iowa Public Employee’s Retirement System have hired a law firm to monitor lawsuits against securities companies. IPERS lawyer Kelly Lovell says the state rarely takes the lead in the lawsuits, but is often part of the group that receive payments when suits are settled.The law firm was hired to keep track of all the lawsuits and to be sure all the paperwork is completed properly so IPERS gets paid in a timely matter when the suits are settled. He says there are just a few instances where the law firm would take the lead in initiating a lawsuit.He says IPERS would take the lead if the state lost the most money in a suit, or if they thought they could force some changes in business practices. Lovell says hiring this firm isn’t the result of any of the high-profile business fraud cases underway — such as WorldCom or Enron.He says they’ve been looking for a firm to do the job for a long time now. He says there isn’t any cost to hiring the firm as they’ll only get paid if they become the lead plaintiff in a case.In those cases, he says the law firm works on a contingency basis that would pay them based on the settlement. Lovell is not sure how much money may be involved in the various securities lawsuits each year. Information from IPERS says it has 320-thousand members with 24-hundred participating employers.
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