Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania is behind an initiative which saw one of the state's biggest employers take on three firms of lawyers, rather than one, to advise on finance.

It appears that the University of Pennsylvania Health System wanted to appoint Ballard Spahr as its sole advisor on a bond issue it had in the pipeline. But when it went to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority - a state-backed agency which helps issue bonds - another three law firms were added to the list.

These were local firms - Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, Ahmad Zaffarese and Turner Law. The first two of these firms, Obermayer and Ahmad, were added to the list of advisers by the Office of General Counsel under the governor. The governor has been campaigning for competitive bidding and lower fees on state legal contracts. A new process - which seeks to help small law firms and those with minorities involved - was used by the Office of General Counsel to select the additional law firms.

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