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A prominent Birmingham law firm that Alabama Attorney General Troy King had tapped to sue BP PLC over the Gulf oil spill will not take part in the litigation because of a potential conflict.

A spokesman for King, Chris Bence, said Tuesday the law firm Balch Bingham would not represent the state in the lawsuit because the Mississippi offices of the firm previously represented Transocean Ltd., owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. An April 20 explosion on the rig killed 11 workers and left millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf Of Mexico.

Bence said the lawsuit against BP, seeking to recover lost tax revenues, would also name Transocean, well contractor Halliburton Co., and Cameron International, maker of the well's failed blowout preventer.

Bence said King spent much of Tuesday meeting with lawyers from various Alabama law firms discussing the lawsuit. He declined to say which firm or firms might be chosen to replace Balch Bingham as the lead attorneys.


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