Marc R. Lieberman

(480) 429-5001 Fax

Mr. Lieberman is an "AV"-rated Super Lawyer® who serves as Chair of the firm's Public Pension and Alternative Investments Group. Mr. Lieberman serves as investment counsel to numerous public pension plans, including the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, the Elected Officials’ Retirement Plan and the Corrections Officer Retirement Plan. He also represents the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, the Texas Municipal Retirement System, the City of Omaha Police Retirement System, the Illinois Pre-paid Tuition Trust Fund and numerous other plans.

Transactions: A Board Certified Real Estate Specialist (State Bar of Arizona), Mr. Lieberman handles much of the legal work attendant to the extensive and varied investments of many of his public pension clients. He has personally negotiated and documented more than $2 billion in alternative investments for public pension systems. These transactions have been structured as private equity, hedge fund, beta overlay, portable alpha or investment management deals, and have targeted investments in commodities, credit opportunities, real assets, infrastructure, venture capital (all stages), real estate, timber, tax or environmental credit, fixed income, long/short, currency, TIPS, and other assets too numerous to mention. Mr. Lieberman has documented many other key contracts for public pension systems, including custody agreements, securities lending agreements, consultant and adviser agreements, brokerage agreements, and lender acknowledgments. He regularly issues enforceability opinions in connection with fund lender cash collateral agreements, and has drafted investment policies for several pension systems, as well as their ethics and fiduciary standards.

Litigation: Mr. Lieberman has prosecuted and defended numerous actions, prevailing in 58 of the 63 cases tried for just one of his clients. In early 2017 he obtained the largest defense verdict in the United States for the previous year, and years ago obtained one of the largest settlements ever obtained by mediation in a securities case. In addition to the various public plans, Mr. Lieberman has represented numerous private pension plans in ERISA litigation, and obtained the first published decision in the Ninth Circuit that awarded a plan its fees against a benefit claimant, something unusual in benefit cases. Mr. Lieberman has successfully prosecuted and defended scores of appeals for various state agencies, municipalities and corporations in Arizona. Two of the arguments he presented were televised.

Pensions: Mr. Lieberman is a Chair of the firm’s Public Pension Group, which represents plans in matters as diverse as class action defense, statutory drafting and interpretation, plan design, fiduciary and governance claims, administrative and employee disputes, tax compliance and securities matters, appellate battles and federal, state and local litigation involving benefit claims. He has been a member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys for more than two decades, and regularly attends that body’s meetings to stay apprised of all developments in the areas of public pension law and specifically, public pension investment law.

Open Meetings and Public Records: Mr. Lieberman is well versed in open meeting and public record law, including agenda, notice of meeting and ratification issues. He regularly drafts legislation and issues legal opinions for client agencies. The past and current administrators of several public pension systems have recognized him as one of “the most knowledgeable and experienced public pension lawyer in this State.”

Bar Leadership: Mr. Lieberman is the past Chair of the Appellate Section of the State Bar of Arizona and past Chair of the Editorial Board of Arizona Attorney Magazine. He is a former Judge Pro Tem on Department S of Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals. He also is a former Commissioner on the Arizona Judicial Performance Review Commission, and currently serves as a member of the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. He has been a presenter and panelist at appellate practice seminars and has served as a faculty member of the Arizona Appellate Practice Institute. Mr. Lieberman has lectured on public pension investment issues, and has written numerous articles on a wide variety of legal topics, including a book on consumer rights and remedies (“Your Rights As A Consumer”).

Community Leadership: Mr. Lieberman is active in his local community. Mr. Lieberman is past President of the Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, the Biltmore Kiwanis Club and the Scottsdale Phoenix Executive Association. In addition, he served as Chair of the Arizona Hate Crimes Task Force, which was responsible for enacting Arizona’s first hate crime laws aimed at levying harsher sentences on those committing crimes for discriminatory reasons. He previously served as Chair of the Arizona Regional Board of the Anti Defamation League and its Civil Rights Committee and is the Recipient of the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Award.

Professional Publications:

  • He Doesn’t Work Here Anymore - Are Our Communications With Him Still Privileged?,” Arizona Attorney (September 2017).
  • “Risk Management for Return Enhancement,” Risk Magazine (February 2016). (Text available from publisher.)
  • “What Me Worry? What Contributions Qualify as ‘Proceeds of Municipal Securities’ for Purposes of the Municipal Advisors Rule.” Benefits Magazine (Web Exclusive) (October 2014).
  • "Modern Pension Fund Diversification," Journal of Asset Management, Vol. 15, issue 3, July 2014.
  • "From Sow's Ear to Silk Purse: Transformation of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System," Benefits Magazine, (June 2014).
  • "Impact of GASB's New Pension Rules on Government Bond Ratings," Pension & Investments magazine, April 14, 2014.
  • "Cities' Pension Obligations Get More Public Exposure Under New Rules," Arizona Capitol Times (January 2014).
  • “American Companies Abroad—Complying With The New U.K. Bribery Act,” Arizona Attorney (March 2012).
  • “The Deal is in Delaware-Why Should I Demand Compliance with the UK Bribery Act?,” February 2012 NAPPA Report.
  • “Need Business? Look Over Your Shoulder,” Attorney at Law Magazine (January 2012).
  • “A U.K. Act’s Impact on U.S. Investors,” Pensions & Investments Magazine (December 26, 2011).
  • “Key Issues in Securing Investment Managers,” Benefits Magazine (September 2011).
  • “The Forgotten Founder,” Arizona Attorney (July 2011).
  • “The Necessity Of Investigating Investment Management,” February, 2010 NAPPA Report.
  • “Social Security: Finding Ways to Fill the Gap,” East Valley/Scottsdale Tribune (August 2005).
  • “The Jig Is Up! The Death of Gamesmanship,” Arizona Attorney (March 2005).
  • “The $5,000 Complaint: Why the Rule in Creasy’s Case May Signal Adoption of UPL Legislation,” Arizona Attorney (June 2001).
  • “The Enemy Within: Detecting and Fighting Administrator Fraud,” Arizona Attorney (January 2001).
    “Learned Hand for a Day: The Rewards of Division One’s Pro-Tem Program,” Arizona Attorney (June 1997).
  • “Your Rights as a Consumer: Legal Tips for Savvy Purchases of Goods, Services and Credit,” Career Press (2d Ed.).
  • “The Case for Hate Crime Legislation,” Arizona Attorney (March 1996).
  • “Eek! Run for Your Lives! It’s the Equity Suckers! Don’t Get Bitten by This Latest Bankruptcy Beast,” Arizona Attorney (November 1993).
  • “The Refinancing Trap: The Hidden Peril of Refinancing Home Mortgage Debt,” Arizona Attorney (May 1993).
  • “COLA Wars: The Ongoing Battle to Eliminate Cost-Of-Living Adjustments to the Pensions of Arizona Retirees,” Arizona Attorney (June 1991).
  • “The Five Bases of Third-Party Lender Liability: Let the Lender Beware,” Arizona Attorney (February 1991).
  • “Overtime Compensation v. Pension Benefits: Will Arizona Public Employees Be Denied One to Achieve the Other?,” State Bar of Arizona CLE Monograph (1986).
  • “The Happy Demise of Constructive Incorporation,” Arizona Bar Journal (October 1986).
    “Illinois Multi-State Plaintiff Class Actions: Abrogation of Jurisdictional Limitations on State Sovereignty,” 31 DePaul Law Review 471 (1982).
  • Model Uniform Rules of Local Board Procedure for the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.
  • Model Uniform Rules of Local Board Procedure for the Corrections Officer Retirement Plan.

Professional Lectures:

  • “Methods of Reducing Government Funding Obligations Through In-Kind Transfers of Real Estate to Government Plans,” Arizona League of Cities & Towns (August 2017).
  • “GOTCHA!!! The SEC’s New Initiative to Scrutinize Private Fund Managers – What Investors and Managers Need to Know,” Public Funds Summit East (July 2015).
  • “Funds, Fees and Affiliates (Oh, My!)—SEC OCIE’s Examination of the Private Fund World (What They Found and what it Means for Public Plans),” National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA) Legal Education Conference, Austin, Texas (June 2015).
  • “Alternative Mutual Funds: Compliance and risk Management in 2015 Explored!,” The Knowledge Group Webinar (March 2015).
  • “Legal Issues for Pension Plans,” Public Funds Summit (January 2015).
  • “Options for Governments to Obtain Relief From Pension Liabilities Post Fields,” Pension Task Force (October 2014).
  • “Legal and Compliance Trends for Alternative Investments,” Investment Trends Summit (September 2014).
  • "Options for Governments to Obtain Relief From Pension Liabilities Post Fields," Arizona League of Cities and Towns (August 2014).
  • "Legal Threats and Challenges for International Investment," NAPPA, June 2014.
  • “'Salary’ on Steroids,” NAPPA (June 2013).
  • “Legal Threats And Challenges Facing Public Pension Systems,” Phoenix, Arizona (February 2012).
  • “Issues In Securing New Investment Management,” Las Vegas, Nevada (April 2011).
  • “Trustees’ Duties Upon Discovery Possible Fraud,” Las Vegas, Nevada (February 2006).
  • “Understanding Your Fiduciary Responsibility,” Phoenix, Arizona (January 2006).
  • “Third Annual Supreme Court Review,” State Bar of Arizona (April 2005).
  • “2004 Appellate Highlights,” Working With the Arizona Court of Appeals (November 2004).
  • “Land Use Law: Development, Regulation and Environmental Issues,” CLE International (October 1997).
  • “The Reach of Impact Fees,” National Conference, League of Cities (September 1997).
  • “Land Use Law: Development, Regulation and Environmental Issues,” CLE International (December 1996).
  • “The Ethics of Life, Death, Care and Creation: A Roundtable of Bio Medical Ethical Conundrums,” Seminar Chair (March 1991).
  • “The Inns and Outs of Appellate Special Actions,” State Bar of Arizona Seminar on “Working with the Arizona Court of Appeals” (November 2006).


  • "Sign of the Anasazi" (Emerald Book Co. 2009).