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City Council expected to confirm lead attorney

Rochester Business Journal
January 28, 2014

Rochester City Council is expected to confirm the appointment of Andrew Brown as city corporation counsel Tuesday night, after an independent investigation by Harris Beach PLLC found no potential for conflicts of interest, officials announced Tuesday.

Brown, a principal with Rochester law firm Brown & Hutchinson LLP, plans to retain an interest in his firm while serving as the city’s lead attorney. Brown & Hutchinson has six cases pending against the city.

Brown’s appointment does not violate ethical provisions, applicable statute or the City Charter, the opinion states.

“The Council feels that the city of Rochester is fortunate to have such an accomplished and well-respected attorney as Mr. Brown heading up our legal department,” it said in a statement.

Brown has said he will limit his private-sector duties to management of his firm’s business, financial oversight, strategic planning and strategic assistance on cases, the Harris Beach opinion states.

Brown said he will create an “ethics wall” regarding the six cases, the opinion states, which Harris Beach takes to mean he will not receive or share any information related to the cases.

Further, the opinion states, Brown indicated his firm will no longer take cases against the city.

The Harris Beach opinion mirrors an earlier opinion reached by Nixon Peabody LLP.

The Council is slated to meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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