BP Gets High-Profile Friends on Board in Payout Dispute

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BP (NYSE:BP) won’t quit the fight to reduce its liability in the country’s biggest oil spill ever. With different motions pending in New Orleans district courts, a group of 12 academics fronted by a well-known conservative judge filed a brief questioning the methods of payout administrator Patrick Juneau in hopes of limiting BP’s exposure in the disastrous Gulf of Mexico spill.

In what has become an extremely contentious affair, the latest movement occurred when a “Brief of  Amici Curiae” was filed by the group in New Orleans, according to a Reuters report. The so-called “friends of the court” expressed concern that proper accounting principles weren’t governing the payouts given by veteran administrator Patrick Juneau and his team overseeing the BP settlement. Led by Paul Clement, George W. Bush’s former solicitor general, the team is attempting to influence the outcome of BP’s appeal though it claims it won’t benefit either way.

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The document entered the record in New Orleans courts on May 10 and may influence the outcome of the latest effort made by BP in the administration of the Deepwater Horizon settlement. Though the British oil giant had planned to spend over $8 billion on the settlement, the surge in claims could push the number to $13 billion and beyond. At that point, BP would feel the bite in its quarterly profits and investors would see the effects in earnings reports.

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