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Judge approves dismissal of some derivative suits against BP

Judge says claims against the London-based company should be filed in the U.K.

Yesterday, a U.S. District Judge in Houston approved the dismissal of some derivative lawsuits filed against BP in the U.S. According to the ruling, the suits should be filed in the U.K., where the company is headquartered.

Institutional investors filed the derivative suits in response to the damage that resulted in last year’s Gulf oil spill. Judge Keith P. Ellison delivered the decision to move the lawsuits to London yesterday, stating that “the derivative lawsuit involves the internal governance of an English corporation, the convenience of the parties and interests of justice favor England as a more convenient forum.”

Judge Ellison noted that he would reverse his decision if the English courts “refuse to accept jurisdiction” for any condition other than plaintiff’ unwillingness to meet the courtroom’s procedures.

Mark Lebovitch, a lawyer for the investors, told Bloomberg he and the company were “reviewing their options” following the dismissal. 

Danielle Feinstein

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