MOBILE, Ala. – The Gulf Coast Claims Facility has severed ties with a law firm that was also working for BP PLC, as demonstrated in a recent Press-Register report.
Mississippi-based Brunini, Grantham, Grower and Hewes was one of three law firms the claims operation hired in late December to help it deal with aggrieved claimants.
The Press-Register had previously obtained several legal contracts drafted on behalf of BP by lawyers with the Brunini firm. Those contracts described Brunini attorneys as “BP attorneys.” The contracts were distributed to university scientists along the Gulf Coast and promised lucrative consulting fees to those who agreed to be a part of BP’s legal defense against a pending federal lawsuit over the spill.
Amy Weiss, a spokeswoman working with the claims facility, said it cut ties with the firm Monday. She had previously said that claims czar Ken Feinberg was aware that the firm was doing other work for BP, but believed there was no conflict because no individual lawyers would be working for both BP and the claims facility.
“We are mindful of the concerns and believe that the Brunini issue was too much of a distraction,” she said in an e-mail. “(We) will find other help in Mississippi.”