Port of Tacoma: Outside General Legal Services Request for Information (RFI) 2013-01

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UPDATE: THE RESPONSES ARE NOW DUE BY SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

UPDATE: Click here to view the Questions and Responses for this RFI

Date:  August 14, 2013

To:  Interested Individuals and Legal Firms

Subject:  Outside General Legal Services Request for Information (RFI) 2013-01

Purpose for this Request for Information:
The Port of Tacoma (Port) is seeking information from law firms interested in providing Outside General Legal Counsel services.  The Port is interested in understanding the availability, experience, capability, and costs for, qualified law firms to provide general legal counsel to the Port.  The Port will use the information to make an informed decision how best to proceed in obtaining its legal services.  We will inform those who respond to this RFI of our intentions no later than sixty (60) days following the response due date stated below. This action is intended to seek information regarding market conditions for Outside General Legal Services and should not be construed as an evaluation of the performance of the current provider.

General Legal Counsel Services: Historically, the Port has used approximately 800-1000 hours a year of general legal counsel services, advice and legal oversight to the Port’s departments as well as serving as the program manager for contracts involving other legal services.  25% of that is expected to be in direct support of the five (5) elected Commissioners, and another 25% in support of the CEO.  Litigation and public record requests support are estimated at an additional 400 to 500 hours.

The primary duties would include:

•  Providing practical and excellent legal advice for elected commissioners, the CEO of the Port, and the senior executive team on a timely basis.  Must attend meetings of the Commission each month, and weekly Port management team meeting, and be prepared to advise on all matters arising at those meetings.
•  Providing counsel on practical solutions to meet public records requirements, legal services to the Port, including drafting contracts, coordinating litigation, and addressing environmental, leasing and other facilities management issues.
•  Providing general legal counsel and risk management guidance on all Port related matters including real estate matters and transactions, procurement compliance, business and governmental dealings and other related legal matters.
•  Developing legal strategies through collaboratively engaging leaders across the Port to assess and determine acceptable short and long term business risks.
•  Ensuring that key leaders are educated in key legal issues and critical contract terms, as well as compliance and anti-corruption guidelines.
•  Monitoring trends, changes and emerging issues that affect the Port to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and international, federal, state and local laws.
•  Providing oversight to other legal support contracts and efforts
•  Developing and maintaining collegial relationships with customers and staff both internally and externally, including outside counsel and business leaders.

Duties would not include:

•  Litigation activities
•  Commercial lease development support
•  Environmental support
•  Labor support
•  HR support
•  Financial support
•  Workplace Investigations

The intended result of this RFI:
This RFI is to identify well-qualified law firms capable of providing the General Legal Counsel Services identified above on a multi-year basis.  The results of this RFI may be used to develop a formal solicitation should the Port determine sufficient interest exists in providing support. The Port expects that the lead lawyer will have over 10 years of relevant experience, excellent writing skills, and a demonstrated ability to speak effectively in public settings.  Extensive working knowledge of RCW 53 and 39 is a key aspect of relevant experience and is strongly preferred.

Current Legal Services:
The Port currently contracts with an external law firm for general legal services and intends to maintain that structure.

Performance Expectations:
The ideal firm would be:

–           Available daily via phone and email
–           Able to meet face-to-face throughout the day
–           Participate in Port Executive and Management team meetings weekly and as needed
–           Be cost competitive
–           Always protecting the Port’s interest
–           Experienced working with Ports as special districts.

Response Requirements:
In responding to this RFI, please provide general information about the following:

–           A brief summary of your firm and qualifications.
–           Names and number of years of experience of each of the lawyers the firm would assign to Port as Outside General Legal Counsel, and evidence of current good standing with the WSBA.
–           Qualifications of each in the substantive legal areas identified above.
–           References for whom the firm has previously provided that type of services described above, including descriptions of the size and complexity of matters handled.
–           Whether the firm would perform the work on a flat fee or hourly basis, and a preliminary indication of fees generally charged for like matters.
–           Pricing models:
o          Hourly basis – fully loaded rate(s)
o          Flat annual fee based on the approximate 800 hours
o          Flat annual fee plus hourly rate
–           Describe at a high level your experience working with:
o          Washington Ports
o          Public Works Contracting
o          General Purchasing
o          Public Records Requests
o          Risk Management and insurance issues

Questions:
Firms are encouraged to be creative and candid in their responses.  Should you have any questions, please submit them by 5:00 PM PST August 28, 2013.  Questions received after this date cannot be considered.  All questions will be answered via an amendment to this RFI and will be posted in the same manner as the RFI.

Questions are to be submitted electronically to:
Mark Little
Director, Contract and Purchasing
mlittle@portoftacoma.com

Response date:
Interested firms must provide their responses, by electronic means in Microsoft Word and or Excel, by 12:00 PM (noon) PST, on September 13, 2013.

Responses are to be returned to:
Mark Little
Director, Contract and Purchasing
mlittle@portoftacoma.com

 

NOTE:  ALL COST INFORMATION IS FOR BUDGETARY PURPOSES ONLY AND NO CONTRACT OR PURCHASE ORDER WILL BE ISSUED AS A RESULT OF THIS RFI.  SHOULD ANY OF YOUR RESPONSE BE CONSIDERED A TRADE SECRET OR OTHERWISE NOT FOR PUBLIC DISEMINATION PLEASE ANNOTATE YOUR RESPONSE ACCORDINGLY.

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