Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah, a member of the U.S. Senate banking committee, is again speaking out on the issue of “pay-to-play” as it relates to securities class action law firms seeking to represent pension funds in securities litigation.
The Daily News reports that Sen. Bennett stated that “pay-to-play by law firms … pose serious potential conflicts of interest that can harm the pension fund retirees who have spent their careers in public service jobs.”
In July, Sen. Bennett sought to have the SEC broaden its ongoing “pay-to-play” investigation into more than two dozen pension fund managers and financial firms to also include law firms and attorneys selected to file securities class action lawsuits for pension plans. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, however, responded that reviewing these contributions made by law firms as Bennett requested would go beyond the SEC’s jurisdiction.
The Daily News says that Sen. Bennett warns that if “state and federal officials won’t live up to their responsibilities … Congress may have to do it.”