By John Donovan
The following comment was recently posted on our “Live Chat” facility.
guest_2770 : Guest 4149, I may be able to help… I an currently involved in a court case in which Shell is being prosecuted for fraud and theft of intellectual property – globalisation apparently provides large companies with the escape route of claiming that cases should be moved to a more “convenient” jurisdiction – those of us who do not have annual legal budgets of $150MM are assumed to be unable to pursue cases in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously
We have a warning for guest 2770 on what to expect based on over a decades worth of our own horrendous experience in litigation with the Royal Dutch Shell Group in multiple High Court and other proceedings.
Despite Shell management’s trumpeting about a total commitment to the core principles of Shell’s Statement of General Principles – honesty, integrity and transparency, expect to be confronted with a totally ruthless no holds barred contest.
You have indicated that Shell has already applied to have your case moved to a jurisdiction more to its liking. It is playing this same game in Malaysia with its defamation case against Dr John Huong. He is in a court in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 1300 kilometres from where he lives (and worked for Shell). Shell is intent on having him jailed for alleged contempt of court. The benefits of the jurisdiction manoeuvre are likely to be two fold for Shell. Firstly it will assist in draining the financial resources of an inevitably financially weaker opponent and secondly, have the case heard in a jurisdiction where Shell has more influence.
Basically, Shell (in our experience) will use every other conceivable underhand ploy to destroy your claim and your credibility.
Your claim will be rubbished by Shell lawyers i.e. described as being without merit.
The case will be deliberately dragged out to drain your resources.
Any Shell discovery evidence helpful to your case will either be withheld or buried in a mountain of irrelevant documents.
Shell may use undercover agents to dig any dirt it can find. If this activity intimidates you or your witnesses, that will be a viewed by Shell lawyers as being a bonus. Shell undercover agents have been known to engage in infiltration, sabotage and deception (using fraudulent credentials).
You can also expect plenty of threatening letters, also designed to intimidate.
You also have to watch out for court room ambushes and whether Shell has any undisclosed connections with the Judge hearing your case.
Remember at all times that you are dealing with the masters of double talk, double dealing, trickery and deception.
Bottom line: Taking on Shell in the courts is not an exercise for the faint hearted. From what you say, you seem to have already realised this fact.
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