Ken Feinberg and the BP Oil Spill fund, what is it all about?

One of the most over looked elements of the BP Oil Spill fund, is that while the negotiation, creation and selection of it's administrator have been highly publicized, the actual details of what is going on with the fund are amazingly sparse. Ken Feinberg, WSJ Photo

Some of the questions that have yet to be asked, or answered, such as "Is the fund set up as a 468B Qualified Settlement Fund", or " Is there even any money in the account and where are the funds being held"; or how about " What role can lawyers play in the process of negotiating eventual settlements"?

My point is, the despite the huge publicity and the daily road shows and press access of Kenneth Feinberg to drum up support, very few lawyers or clients have any clue as to how this fund is going to work and if it even makes sense for their clients.

Those of us in the settlement profession have other questions, such as the ability of clients to structure their claims over time to reduce tax hits on these taxable damage claims, or are the clients aware that legal fees on their cases are NOT tax deductible and how does that factor into their decision process to engage counsel to handle their settlement claims. Again, these questions remain to be answered, or even asked, of the people running the fund.

Into that breach of misinformation and lack of information I offer you two new videos from Attorney Rick Kuykendall, who is intimately involved in the negotiations relative to the role of trial lawyers of the BP Oil Spill fund and how it will ultimately be administered. His view and thoughts on the fund will assist lawyers and settlement professionals in how to counsel their clients and adjust their professional practice if they make the decision to jump into the BP Oil Spill claims process. 

I also provide a link to the excellent interview this weekend in the WSJ of Ken Feinberg, one that lays out some of the issues and concerns and starts to develop a frame work on how this process is going to work.

Ken Feinberg Wall Street Journal Interview Link.

As the BP Oil Spill compensation fund continues to take shape and the rules, regulations and process of how it will work becomes clear, we will cover it hear on both the Legal Broadcast Network and The Settlement Channel. It is going to be vital to have accurate and timely information on this fund and we will continue to bring you the lawyers and experts who are involved in it so you can decide, either as a claimant, lawyer or settlement professional how to proceed in this land mark case.

Posted on August 9, 2010 .