Kirby McInerney LLP was selected to act as lead counsel in litigation over alleged manipulation of Brent crude oil prices despite earlier claims by a rival firm that its lawyers are too inexperienced.
New York-based Kirby McInerney will now control more than a dozen suits alleging some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including BP Plc (BP/), Statoil ASA (STL)and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), conspired with Morgan Stanley (MS) and energy traders including Vitol Group to manipulate spot prices for Brent crude for more than a decade. A judge selected the firm today at a hearing in Manhattan federal court, saying its clients had the most particularized allegations in the case.
In December, the law firm challenged allegations that it broke court rules and its attorneys weren’t the best to act as lead class action law firm, a role that includes directing the litigation, assigning tasks to other firms and managing trial strategy or negotiations with the defendants. Lead counsel also usually takes the biggest share of any verdict or settlement.
New York-based Lovell Stewart Halebian Jacobson LLP had alleged that Kirby McInerney broke court rules in filing a sworn declaration with the court under seal. Kirby McInerney also claimed it had Lovell Stewart’s support as lead counsel in litigation over manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. More
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