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Nossaman LLP

Peter H. Mixon

Partner

T 206.395.7624
719 Second Avenue, Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98104

Peter H. Mixon has more than twenty years’ experience advising public pension plans on fiduciary duties, trust law, and ethics rules.  As a member of Nossaman’s Public Pensions and Investment Group, he has an extensive practice that concentrates on fiduciary standards as well as investments, benefits, and funding issues. Mr. Mixon has extensive experience advising public boards and committees on fiduciary, ethics and governance issues. Mr. Mixon is a well-known speaker on public pensions and has testified in California state court as an expert on public pension fiduciary standards.

Before joining Nossaman, Mr. Mixon served as General Counsel for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) for 11 years. In this position, Mr. Mixon provided counsel to the Board and Chief Executive Officer on all aspects of investments, operations, strategy, and governance. He advised the Board and staff on fiduciary aspects of plan funding, asset and liability valuation, and collection rights and litigation, as well as on all types of investment transactions, including private equity, real estate, venture capital, and hedge funds.  He oversaw an outside review of placement agent activities of former officials, resulting in recovery of $215 million in investment fees paid by the system.  As part of this review, he helped draft California legislation regulating placement agent disclosure requirements and fee limits.  He also provided legal advice on the Board’s Corporate Governance Program, effectively guiding engagement on majority voting, proxy access, and other governance issues. He advised the staff on public disclosure laws, including legal rights and responsibilities, and he supervised the defense of several lawsuits brought under the California Public Records Act as well as a comprehensive Board Governance Project, substantially improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of the Board and staff.  Finally, he conducted over a dozen legal education workshops for board members, executives, and constituent groups.

Representative Work

  • Advised state pension plan on fiduciary, funding and benefits issues arising from proposed merger with another plan.
  • Advised municipal pension plan on fiduciary and related issues arising from proposed divestment of certain plan assets.
  • Advised municipal pension plan on conflict of interest requirements for investment managers.
  • Advised state plan on fiduciary duties in connection with discount rate and other funding decisions.
  • Advised municipal pension plan on comprehensive governance project.
  • Advised state pension plan on constitutional issues arising from proposed legislative changes to appropriations for investment and related expenses.
  • Advised state pension plan on fiduciary considerations in implementing new statutory rate-setting process.
  • Negotiated custody, investment management, securities lending, investment consulting, private equity, hedge fund, and other investment contracts for state and municipal plans.
  • Advised state and municipal plan on insider trading prohibitions.
  • Testified as an expert witness in O’Neal v. Stanislaus County Employees’ Retirement Ass’n., where the trial court judge found Mr. Mixon’s testimony “persuasive[]” on the fiduciary duties of public pension trustees.
Peter H. Mixon
Peter H. Mixon

Practices

Education

J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1984, Articles Editor, The Pacific Law Journal

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1980, History

Admissions

California

U.S. Supreme Court

Washington

Professional Affiliations

National Association of Public Pension Plan Attorneys, Member of the Executive Board  (2009-2013)

New York Stock Exchange Commission on Corporate Governance, Chair, Investors
Subcommittee (2009-2010)

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