Lawyers compete for big payoff, control in BP case

By: AP
By: AP

MIAMI -- More than 100 lawyers are battling for the biggest chunks of what is likely to be a multibillion-dollar settlement for Gulf of Mexico oil spill victims, jockeying for spots on the elite team that will control the plaintiffs' cases.

A judge will pick 12 to 15 lawyers to take the lead in lawsuits against BP PLC and other companies. The team could get up to 15 percent of a settlement in the more than 300 suits that have been consolidated in New Orleans federal court. That's on top of the typical 30 percent fee lawyers charge their individual clients.

Competition is fierce: Candidates include a former Cabinet secretary and the lawyer who represented Al Gore in the 2000 presidential recount case.

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