BP holdings: Gulf spill lawyer says backfire a tough talk

3 years ago

LONDON (Reuters) - BP`s hard-line legal tactics aimed at capping the financial blowout from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster will backfire, according to Joe Rice, negotiator of last year`s settlement on behalf of over 100,000 compensation claimants.

Until six months ago, the British oil company sought to co-operate and negotiate its way through the web of litigation spun around it by government bodies, private individuals and businesses.

It pleaded guilty to criminal misconduct in November 2012, having agreed in March the same year to a compensation settlement with the Plaintiffs` Steering Committee (PSC) on which Rice sits.

But with $42.4 billion so far spent or earmarked for spending on clean-up, compensation payments, fines and costs, and with assets that generated $5 billion of cash flow a year sold to pay that bill, BP`s management finds itself still a long way from the financial "closure" it craves, and so has changed tack.

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