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With ad and letter to lawyers, BP mounts offensive in Gulf oil spill settlement dispute

BP is warning lawyers for many Gulf Coast businesses that it may seek to recover at least a portion of their clients' shares of a multibillion-dollar settlement if it successfully appeals a key ruling in the legal wrangling spawned by the company's massive 2010 oil spill.

The London-based oil giant says it's sending hundreds of letters to attorneys for businesses the company believes received excessive payments from a court-supervised settlement program.

The letters are part of BP's increasingly aggressive campaign to challenge a judge's interpretation of the settlement's terms.

BP also is placing a full-page advertisement in three of the nation's largest newspapers Wednesday that accuses "trial lawyers and some politicians" of encouraging businesses to submit thousands of claims for inflated or non-existent losses.

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