The BP Claims process and the pending litigation is not by any means going to be settled as a class action. There is common misconception that anytime there is a large numbers of plantiffs that it has to be a class action..such is not true..
Though cases and claims may get settled in mass, in the end the plantiff has the right to say yes or no. This is what makes it different then a class action, a judge will not determine how much you receive. You will have the right to proceed to trial, negotiate your own deal, or accept what is offered. In a typical class action the judge determines what the claimants receive after a trial with a few representative plaintiffs.
Attorneys with a large number of claimants have distinct advantage, when negotiating with BP. It is very attractive for BP to work with attorneys that have large case loads, as it makes it easier to bundle similar groups of claimants and consolidate them into a settlement matrix, that each individual has the right to accept or reject.