LOS ANGELES -- California Treasurer Kathleen Brown awarded Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe a highly coveted two-year contract as general obligation bond counsel after the firm agreed to match a rival's lower bid.

Among the seven finalists in the competition, Cox, Castle & Nicholson submitted the lowest bid, setting its fee at 5.3 cents for every $1,000 of GOs the state issues. Orrick's original bid was slightly higher -- a flat fee of six cents per $1,000 of bonds.

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