Volkswagen Hires Kirkland & Ellis in Pollution Controls Scandal

VW Diesel Scandal Widens as CEO Heads for Board Showdown
  • Kirkland led BP's criminal defense in Deepwater Horizon spill
  • VW scandal has wiped out 24 billion euros in market value

Volkswagen AG has hired the U.S. law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP to help it deal with the widening scandal over the carmaker’s faked pollution controls, according to a company spokeswoman.

Kirkland led BP Plc’s defense in the criminal investigation of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster that claimed 11 lives and caused the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, according to the firm’s website. Kirkland spokeswoman Olivia Clarke declined to comment on the Volkswagen hiring.

The VW scandal has wiped out 24 billion euros ($26.7 billion) in Volkswagen’s market value since the start of the week. VW said as many as 11 million cars are affected and that it’s setting aside at least 6.5 billion euros for the matter.

The lead Kirkland lawyer on the BP criminal case was Mark Filip, a partner in Chicago and Washington, according to the firm’s website. He didn’t immediately respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment.

In November 2012, BP agreed to plead guilty to 14 criminal counts, including 11 for felony manslaughter, and pay $4 billion to resolve the criminal case. BP agreed in July to pay a record $18.7 billion to settle all federal and state civil claims.

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