Shell investors sue BP for millions over Deepwater share price crash

Exclusive

Deputy Business Editor

The pension fund of oil giant Shell is suing arch rival BP and its former chief executive Lord John Browne for millions of pounds over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill catastrophe.

Shell Pension Trust is one of more than a dozen giant UK investment funds who have joined a massive lawsuit against BP and its directors at the time including Tony Hayward, who took over from Lord John as CEO three years before the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The investors are suing over the dramatic crash in BP’s share price caused by the spill and have won the right to sue under UK law but in the generous Texas court. While they had the right to take action in the High Court in London, they have held out to take their claims in the US where higher awards are likely.

Among the other shareholders suing the company are the pension funds for workers in London’s boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Redbridge. Councils in Cumbria, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire have also joined in, along with other UK, European and US funds.

In total, the class action lawsuit specialist Pomerantz Law has assembled 32 major BP shareholders from around the world to sue for losses incurred on shares they bought before the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It is thought to be the first time they have brought legal actions.

Initially, only investors who bought their BP shares on the New York Stock Exchange and other American trading markets were allowed to sue in the US.

But after a recent series of rulings in Texas, UK cases can now be heard in the oil town of Houston under English law.

Many ordinary people who owned BP shares are also included on the list. Other investors are likely to join in as the suit is being prosecuted on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Jennifer Pafiti, a lawyer at Pomerantz, said: “This is a hugely complex case and the outcome will have significant ramifications for securities litigation in the US. 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.”

The latest wave of investors suing comes on top of a number of other UK shareholders attempting to sue in the UK who bought shares immediately after the disaster. These investors claim they would never have bought them had BP not allegedly made “misleading statements” about its safety policies and the difficulties it was having stemming the flow of oil.

UK shareholders were entitled to sue in the UK but have been choosing not to, preferring to hunt in the more lucrative US lawcourts instead.

BP declined to comment on the lawsuit.

As well as suing BP and its directors, the claimants are also suing Halliburton and Transocean, the two engineering giants which worked with BP on the rig, and Cameron International, which made the safety device known as a blowout preventer on the rig.

Bob Dudley, the current BP chief executive, is also on the list of defendants ,as well as other well-known City figures who were non-executives at BP like the mining tycoon Cynthia Carroll, banker Douglas Flint and pharmaceuticals chief Sir Tom McKillop.

As a result of the disaster, 11 workers died and millions of barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in what was the worst spill ever.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Austen Lloyd: Company Secretary

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...

Citifocus Ltd: German Speaking Client Specialist

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...

Citifocus Ltd: Performance & Risk Oversight

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Director - SaaS (SME/Channel) - £140,000 OTE

£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game