BP dropped its wallet in the wrong neighborhood. ~ Member of the national media recounting his favorite BP quote heard during the oil spill.
As one of the world’s leading companies, we have a responsibility to set high standards: to be, and be seen to be, a business which is committed to integrity. In a complex global business environment like ours, that’s not always easy. Our code of conduct is designed to help us achieve this.
Our code of conduct is the cornerstone of our commitment to integrity. As Bob Dudley, our group chief executive, affirmed: “Our reputation, and therefore our future as a business, depends on each of us, everywhere, every day, taking personal responsibility for the conduct of BP’s business”. The BP code of conduct is an essential tool to help our people meet this aspiration. The code summarizes our standards for the way we behave. All our employees must follow the code of conduct. It clearly defines what we expect of our business and our people, regardless of location and background. Ultimately it is about helping BP people to do the right thing.
And we have this from Magnum’s contract with BP:
BP Legal expects that the Firm will adhere to BP’s Code of Conduct when providing services to BP
But it actually gets better than that as we have this from Magnum’s contract with BP.
Any conflicts of interest must be disclosed to BP and waived in writing prior to beginning this retention, and in the future as soon as the conflict or potential conflict becomes known. Prior to execution of this letter agreement, we expect that you have investigated and resolved any potential conflicts of interest you may have in representing BP.
It is important that you are sensitive to both direct conflicts and indirect conflicts, Le., conflicts that may arise from the Firm’s advocacy of other clients’ positions which conflict with BP’s business objectives or interests. We expect that the Firm will also not take public positions adverse to BP (e.g., in litigation or administrative proceedings). If your firm already represents competitors of BP, that fact should be made known to BP Legal.
At this point we’ll leave aside the rumor that Magnum also is working the spill for Buddy Caldwell’s office as the public records requests have come up empty as Caldwell is reportedly not running them through the Department of Finance and Administration as required but what about all the people his firm signed up to sue BP? Well you give them to firm’s of counsel Eric O’Bell and pretend he isn’t affiliated with the firm that’s what. It’s simple junior, computer generate some O’Bell letterhead using his GHW direct line as his phone number and the 2nd firm fax line as his fax number.
And what services will Magnum and his partner James Williams be providing BP per the contract dated October 28, 2010?
BP engages the firm to provide legally privileged advice and counsel related to claims brought by government entities, including but not necessarily limited to claims brought by the State of Louisiana and other local government entities. The Firm will advise BP and will, at BP’s sole discretion, represent BP in negotiations with the government entities.
And what kind of access did the bargain basement retainer fee of $1.115 million dollars purchase for BP? You mean besides almost every judge in the 24th JDC including sold out newbies like Ray Steib and the CDC in NOLA? There is Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal for starters both before and after signing the contract. And them Bobby Jindal fundraisers at $1,000 a plate insure ol’ Jindy has Mags on speed dial. How about the under federal investigation/Louisiana Lite Gov candidate Billy Nungesser and that doesn’t count Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell who helped Magnum and Kevin Costner shakedown BP last summer on that oil water separator that was next to useless combating the impacts of the spill.
And this brings us back to BP’s Code of Conduct which is evidently some sort of sick inside joke as BP America’s Mark Holstein certainly knows all about the many conflicts of interest Magnum brings to the table. That said this is money well spent by BP because they will probably save way more than the cool million they paid to “buffers” like Magnum to spread the wealth among the politicos that will determine how aggressively BP is pursued for the damages they caused from their Macondo Well blowout. I particularly loved this excerpt from the Code of Conduct Chapter titled “Business Partners“:
The exchange of gifts and entertainment can build goodwill in business relationships, but some gifts and entertainment can create improper influence (or the appearance of improper influence). Some can even be seen as bribes that tarnish BP’s reputation for fair dealing or break the law.
‘Gifts and entertainment’ means anything of value, e.g. discounts, loans, favourable terms on any product or service, services, prizes, transportation, use of another company’s vehicles, use of vacation facilities, stocks or other securities, participation in stock offerings, home improvements, tickets, and gift certificates.
Gifts and entertainment between BP employees and others fall into three categories • Those that are usually acceptable and that you may approve yourself. • Those that are never acceptable. • Those that may be acceptable but require prior approval.
Usually acceptable self-approval test Some gifts and entertainment are sufficiently modest that they do not require prior approval. Subject to your applying a ‘self-approval test’ (see below), the following are usually acceptable without prior approval: • Meals: modest occasional meals with someone with whom we do business. • Entertainment: occasional attendance at ordinary sports, theatre and other cultural events. • Gifts: gifts of nominal value, such as pens, calendars, or small promotional items.
And of course we have this:
Rules for gifts and entertainment involving government officials Governments in some parts of the world have substantially more stringent requirements regarding gifts and entertainment, and breaches of these rules can be serious offences. If you deal with a government, make sure you know the rules that apply to your circumstances. Seek advice from BP legal, if in doubt.
Now perhaps everyone, including those in the GOP that groused after the first fundraiser Magnum put on for ol’ Jindy understands why a good ol’ GOP boy like Jindy is cavorting with an ethicless trial lawyer in Magnum. The Benjamins trump ideology with most politicians Bobby Jindal included.
So I’m certain Bobby Jindal will make BP a great business partner thanks in part to BP’s million dollar men Magnum J.D. and his partner James Williams. I think we’re also seeing a big reason why there was a mass exodus of lawyers from the once storied but now sullied firm of the late legendary litigator Wendell Gauthier. Click the picture below to get the 4 page pdf of Magnum’s contract with Mark Holstein and BP.