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News & Analysis as of

Deepwater Horizon ruling puts focus on prevention

Last week’s decision by District Judge Carl Barbier exposes the UK-headquartered energy giant to up to $18bn in fines for the 2010 drillship incident because, under the same US laws that cover tanker spills, civil penalties...more

Energy Newsletter - September 2014

In This Issue: - Natural Gas Imports into China – Prospects for Growth - Obrascon Huarte Lain SA v Her Majesty's Attorney General for Gibraltar: A rare look at the FIDIC form of contract - D.C. Circuit...more

Trial Judge Concludes The Deepwater Horizon Spill Caused By BP’s Gross Negligence And Willful Misconduct

On September 4, 2014 the federal district judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill issued long-awaited rulings as to liability. The court concluded that BP is subject to...more

The Tail Won’t Wag the Dog: Ontario Court of Appeal Declines Jurisdiction Over Securites Misrepresentation Case Outside Canada

The Ontario Court of Appeal has called on judges to show restraint in assuming jurisdiction over securities trading on foreign exchanges, in its recent decision Kaynes v BP, PLC, 2014 ONCA 580. While the plaintiffs in this...more

District Court Dismisses $265 Billion OCSLA Suit Against BP

A U.S. District Court Judge in Houston dismissed a lawsuit by a former contractor on behalf of the United States against BP alleging claims under the False Claims Act that had been pending since 2009. In U.S. ex rel. Abbott...more

BP Oil Spill Litigation – Current Status of the Litigation

As many are aware, BP entered into a Settlement Agreement to compensate citizens of areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico for losses arising from the epic oil spill in 2010. There has been substantial litigation and appellate...more

California Insurance Coverage Cases Raising Key Issues On The Horizon

This year, 2014, is lining up with interesting insurance coverage cases pending across the country which may lead to far reaching decisions. In California specifically, it is apparent to us that the Hartford Insurance...more

A Day At The Beach: Fifth Circuit Rejects Expansive Situs Definition For LHWCA Comp In BP Beach Cleaning Case

The Fifth Circuit recently reversed, per curiam, a district court decision finding that a contract worker cleaning oiled beaches near Grand Isle, Louisiana, in the wake of the 2010 Macondo oil spill qualified as a...more

Oil Regulation 2014 - United States

The US oil industry is divided into three sectors: upstream (exploration and production), midstream (processing, storage and transportation) and downstream (refining, distribution and marketing). Industry participants...more

One Step Closer… Fifth Circuit Affirms BP Loss on CWA Liability Regarding Gulf Spill

The Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred over four years ago, accompanied by numerous stories trumpeting the fact that BP would likely pay as much as $25 billion to the United States in civil penalties...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: California is ahead of EPA on climate rules - Los Angeles Times - Jun 5: In 2006, when California adopted AB 32, its landmark global warming law, it acted virtually alone. Now, the state...more

Damage Models Create Individualized Issues For Pre-Explosion Subclass Of BP Shareholders, But Present No Impediment For...

The Southern District of Texas recently denied certification of a subclass of BP shareholders who purchased shares prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and alleged that misstatements regarding safety improvements caused...more

FERC Sets Enforcement Case Against BP for Hearing, Takes Expansive View of Jurisdiction to Enforce Anti-Manipulation Rule

In an order issued on May 15, 2014 that takes a broad view of its jurisdiction over conduct that allegedly violates the Natural Gas Act’s (NGA) prohibition against market manipulation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...more

Social Media Roundup: The Top 5 Buzzing Issues

Here is a look at some of the hottest topics lawyers and others in the legal industry have been abuzz about: 1. BP’s change of heart over its settlement for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster - In...more

Alaska Passes North Slope Pipeline Liquefied Natural Gas Bill

On Monday, Alaska’s legislature approved Senator Sean Parnell’s plan to join four energy companies in moving ahead on plans to build infrastructure to transport and market 35 trillion cubic feet of North Slope gas to be...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending April 25, 2014)

Insider trading and fraudulent investment schemes were the focus of SEC enforcement this week. The Commission filed insider trading actions tied to the massive BP oil spill, clinical trials for a drug and the expert network...more

SEC Settles Insider Trading Case Tied to BP Oil Spill

The SEC filed a settled insider trading action against an employee of BP p.l.c. tied to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Specifically, the Commission claims that Keith Seilhan had material non-public information...more

UPDATE: Money, Money, Money: Top 10 Trade Secret Verdicts (With Our Runner-Up Overturned)

Big IP verdicts aren’t limited to patent cases. Trade secrets can mean big money, too. Really big. As in multi-, multi-million dollar verdicts. And the trend is up with more than half of the top ten verdicts coming out in...more

BP Oil Spill Update

On April 18, 2012, BP Exploration and Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (collectively “BP”) entered into an economic and property damages class action settlement with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the...more

BP Loses Bid to Cancel Oil-Spill Settlement Agreement

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently struck down BP’s request to cancel the settlement agreement it had arranged with the Plaintiff’s Setting Committee (PSC) in March 2012. BP’s effort to get this agreement, which...more

A Favored-Nations Clause Gone Awry

Oh, how a simple Favored-Nations clause in an oil and gas lease can get complicated, with large financial consequences! In BP America Production Company v. Zaffirini, BP paid Solis a $1,300 per acre bonus for a lease covering...more

BP International Limited v Neste Oil Oyj [2013] APO 46

In August this year, Australian patent application 2003258753 (“the application”) directed to diesel fuel compositions was successfully opposed on the ground that the application did not disclose the best method of performing...more

Judge Barbier Responds To Court Of Appeals In Deepwater Horizon Litigation

On October 2, 2013, BP won a reprieve in its ongoing effort to tighten standards and slow claims payments by Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau. BP had asked the court to direct Mr. Juneau to halt payments that did meet...more

Judge Barbier Orders Response to BP’s Allegations of Fraudulent Oil Spill Claims

On August 5 BP requested that Judge Barbier order a temporary stop to payouts in settlement claims under the court supervised settlement. BP presented evidence of conflicts of interest for some lawyers working to administer...more

The Lone Ranger Rides Again – The Fifth Circuit’s Withdrawal of its Ranger Opinion and Certification to the Texas Supreme Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has responded to the request for rehearing in Ranger Insurance, Ltd. v. BP P.L.C., 710 F.3d 388 (5th Cir. Mar. 1, 2013) by withdrawing its March 1, 2013 opinion (reversing the...more

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