The Florida Attorney General's Office announced Friday that it has selected a legal team to help represent the state as it makes economic claims related to the BP oil spill.
The legal team will be composed of lawyers from four law firms, including Tampa-based Fowler White Boggs.
The team also includes Nix Patterson & Roach, which is based in Texas and has an office in Grayton Beach, as well as Harrison, Rivard, Duncan & Buzzett and Harrison Sale McCloy, both based in Panama City.
Nix Patterson will lead the team, and the lawyer who will be working on the claims is based in the firm's Florida office, said Jenn Meale, communications director for the attorney general's office.
She said the firms were selected based on prior experience representing government and corporate clients who suffered losses from the 2010 oil spill.
Florida individuals and businesses have so far received more than $2 billion in payouts related to the BP oil spill. Although most of Florida's beaches were unaffected, the spill discouraged tourists and crippled many fishing and marine-related businesses.
On March 2, BP agreed to settle lawsuits brought by more than 100,000 fishermen who lost work, cleanup workers who got sick and others who claimed harm from the oil spill. BP estimated that it will have to pay about $7.8 billion, making it one of the largest class-action settlements ever. That settlement is separate from the case that Florida and other states are pursuing.
As for Florida's claims, Meale said the expertise of the state's new co-counsel will ensure that they "recover the most money possible for the state of Florida."