Pension funds line up to sue BP in Texas over gulf disaster

BP is facing a fresh round of costly litigation over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with more than a dozen British and European pension funds, alongside other investors, being allowed for the first time to sue in a Texas court.

Pension funds for a number of London boroughs are among those suing over the collapse in the value of shares they held in BP, with even arch-rival Shell's pension fund getting in on the action.

Texas is seen as a potential goldmine for people suing BP over the spill as  the awards there will be far higher than any which would be granted in the  UK High Court.

Initially, only investors who bought their BP shares on the New York Stock Exchange and other markets in the US were allowed to sue there. But after a recent series  of rulings in Texas, UK cases can now be heard there under English law.

The class-action lawsuit specialist Pomerantz Law has assembled 32 major BP shareholders from around the world to sue for the losses incurred on the shares they bought before the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which led to 11 deaths and happened under the stewardship of then chief executive Tony Hayward.

Other investors are likely to join the suit, which is being prosecuted on a no-win-no-fee basis.

Pomerantz lawyer Jennifer Pafiti told the Evening Standard: "The fact that UK pension funds who bought stock on the London Stock Exchange can now participate in bringing claims in the US raises the prospect of recoveries where significant losses have been incurred."

Each claimant will be suing for millions of pounds.

Recently lodged court filings seen by the Evening Standard show litigants include pension funds for the City of Westminster Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the London Borough of Redbridge and others including Lincolnshire County Council, Cumbria County Council and a host of individual claimants. Shell's Pension Trust is also on the list of plaintiffs.

The key ruling that has led to Pomerantz now beginning to recruit new litigants on this side of the Atlantic also allows for continental European investors to sue in the US as well.

UK shareholders were always entitled to sue in Britain but have preferred the more-lucrative US courts instead.

BP was unavailable for comment.

Topics:  bp oil spill texas

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

How to stop Facebook from grabbing your data

How Facebook can grab your data, and what to do to stop it

UPDATE: Jockey remains in ICU at Coffs Harbour

INJURED: Jockey Kirk Matheson was injured in a fall during racing at Clarence Valley Jockey Club.

Injured jockey Kirk Matheson rushed into surgery.

PHOTOS: Meet our kindy students

Newrybar Public School

My First Year commemorates the start of school for kinders

Local Partners