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LATEST CORRESPONDENCE INVOLVING SHELL, ITS SOLICITORS AND THE DONOVANS ON SHELL EMPLOYEE SAFETY ETC

EMAIL DATED 10 SEPT 2007 FROM ALFRED DONOVAN TO ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC COMPANY SECRETARY & GENERAL COUNSEL CORPORATE, MICHIEL BRANDJES

From: Alfred Donovan [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: 10 September 2007 15:49
To: Brandjes, Michiel CM RDS-LC

Cc: Cambell; van der Veer, Jeroen J RDS-CEJV; Ollila, Jorma RDS-RDS/CH; Brinded, Malcolm A RDS-ECMB; Wiseman, Richard RM SI-LMAPF; Ruddock, Keith KA SI-LSEP; RobertAllen,SimmonsandSimmons; [email protected]

Subject: Email to 600 MP’s

Dear Mr Brandjes

We have printed below a self-explanatory draft email ready for dispatch to 600 MP’s.

Please let me know if you consider that it contains any factual inaccuracy.

Mr Bill Campbell has kindly supplied the statistical information.

If we hear nothing from you by noon tomorrow we will commence the distribution of the email on its current basis.

We may add a reference to the fact that the email has been supplied to Shell with the above invitation prior to circulation.

Best Regards
Alfred Donovan

DRAFT: The safety of your constituents is at risk

Bill Campbell, the former Shell Group Auditor recently sent you an email warning of an inevitable catastrophe on Shell North Sea platforms unless action is taken. Bill led the safety audit team which discovered a “Touch F*** All” safety policy endorsed by Shell management. Shell failed to take adequate remedial steps to deal with falsified safety reports and bodged repairs discovered in the audit. Two offshore workers died in a subsequent avoidable accident. Shell was fined £900,000 after admitting responsibility.

Bill is convinced that despite these events, Shell management is still putting profits and production before safety.

If Bill’s warnings are proved correct, families all over the UK, including in your constituency, could lose loved ones because Shell, which made $26.3 billion profit in 2006, has not faced up to its responsibilities in relation to offshore employee safety.

Information published on the HSE website proves that contrary to claims by Shell, safety and fatality statistics are getting worse, not better. For example since the fatalities, on average, an enforcement order has been placed against Shell every 40 days or so, leading to almost continual breach with 88 separate breaches of legislation.

The campaign led by Bill has gathered considerable momentum since he last wrote to you. A number of MP’s kindly intervened by making representations to Shell or to the Minister responsible. If you have not taken action, please send an email to the Executive Director of Shell EP, Malcolm Brinded (malcolmbrindedatxxxxxx) expressing your concern, with a copy to Bill (Cambellxxxx.xxx) so he is aware of your support. It will only take a few minutes but could, in combination with the efforts of others, result in lives being saved.

We are also delighted with the media publicity. There have been several articles mentioning the joint campaign involving Bill and the website royaldutchshellplc.com which I own with my son, John Donovan. Two examples: an article in the Daily Mail on 1 September headlined: “Shell on back foot as gripe site alleges safety concerns” and in the Daily Telegraph on 8 Sept: “Pressure on Shell over safety of platforms“.

The mission of our non commercial website is to persuade Shell management to live up to the core principles in Shell’s Statement of General Business Principles pledging integrity, honesty, transparency and respect for people in all of Shell’s dealings. If Shell had abided by its own ethical code, there would have been no “Touch F*** All” culture and no Brent Bravo fatalities.

Two offshore unions last week joined the growing chorus of voices expressing serious reservations over Shell North Sea safety practices. On 6 September, BBC News reported “Two offshore unions have called on the HSE to investigate Shell’s operations in the North Sea“.

An interview with Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer by The Guardian on 31 Aug 2007 contained the following sentence:

He also makes clear he was hurt by the coverage of another fiasco – when a Shell consultant, Bill Campbell, blew the whistle on safety breaches in the North Sea.”

Although sorry his feelings are hurt, that is preferable than more Shell employees losing their lives.

We obtained under a SAR application, Shell internal documents revealing a panicky reaction to the prospect of a Campbell/Donovan alliance. They contained admissions never meant for public consumption. There was evidence of further documents relating to us. We asked Shell for the missing information and on 6 Sept received an unsatisfactory response from solicitors hastily retained by Shell, Simmons & Simmons. We replied asking if information had been withheld on the grounds that it was self-incriminating. Following a tip-off, we also asked if Shell has attempted to evade its DPA obligations by subsequently using codenames instead of our surnames: another serious matter if true. We will supply an update.

Yours sincerely
Alfred Donovan

REPLY ON Tue 11/09/2007 11:50: FROM KEITH RUDDOCK, SHELL EP GENERAL COUNSEL

Dear Mr Donovan,

As previously indicated, the lack of a rebuttal from, or comment by, Shell does not in any way constitute an acceptance on Shell’s part of the accuracy of any of the points made by you, whether now or in the future, and whether on this or on any other matter, and we continue to reserve our position accordingly in respect of those matters.

Yours sincerely

Keith Ruddock

General Counsel Exploration and Production
Shell International B.V.
The Hague, The Netherlands – Trade Register no. 27155369
Address: c/o Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, The Netherlands

REPLY FROM ALFRED DONOVAN

From: Alfred Donovan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 12 September 2007 01:30

To: Ruddock, Keith KA SI-LSEP
Cc: Cambellxxxxxxx; van der Veer, Jeroen J RDS-CEJV; Brandjes, Michiel CM RDS-LC; Ollila, Jorma RDS-RDS/CH; Wiseman, Richard RM SI-LMAPF; RobertAllen,SimmonsandSimmons; Sanger, David H SI-LC-SL

Subject: RE: Email to 600 MP’s

Dear Mr Ruddock

Shell appears to be in a state of disarray issuing yet another blanket denial. We know from Shell documents already released to us under the SAR that this strategy is being followed to prevent giving us “ammunition” i.e. confirmation of misdeeds by Shell and/or its lawyers.

The “matters” you refer to included questions in relation to the SAR application.
Simmons & Simmons claimed that they would now be dealing with the SAR issues but instead of a response from them to the SAR related issues raised in recent emails, you have responded when our email was in fact addressed to Mr Brandjes who set the SAR application in motion.

Like Mr Sanger, Mr Allen and Mr Brandjes, you have chosen not to provide an answer to the codenames issue. Three lawyers have all ducked a simple question. That makes us more than suspicious.

Any of you could have simply stated

Your information about the use of codenames is incorrect. No codenames have been used in relation to you or your father.

but were self-evidently unable  or unwilling to do so.

Under the circumstances I believe it is reasonable for us to conclude that the insider information on the subject of code names is correct.

Nonetheless, I will ask one last time for a straight-forward answer to a straight-forward question.

Has Shell ever substituted a codename(s) for the Donovan surname for either my son or I, or for both of us? I am sure Mr Campbell would also be asking the same question about his name.

We are delaying the email to MP’s while we give Shell this last opportunity to answer this question.

If the question is ignored again we will assume that it is on the basis of concern over self-incrimination by Shell and will pass this correspondence to the Information Commissioner as well as Shell internal documents confirming what is stated above .

Yours sincerely
Alfred Donovan

RESPONSE FROM KEITH RUDDOCK, SHELL EP: Wed 12/09/2007 10:01

Dear Mr Donovan,

Thank you for your email of 12th September.  Simmons & Simmons will be writing to you separately in response to the points you have previously raised on your and your son’s SRAs. My response of yesterday was intended solely to address the the content of your proposed email to MPs as it related to North Sea safety issues. For the avoidance of doubt, I confirm that no codenames are in use within Shell to refer to Mr Campbell.

Yours sincerely

Keith Ruddock

General Counsel Exploration and Production
Shell International B.V.
The Hague, The Netherlands – Trade Register no. 27155369
Address: c/o Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, The Netherlands

REPLY FROM ROBERT ALLEN, SOLICITOR OF SIMMONS & SIMMONS LONDON LAW FIRM REPRESENTING SHELL INTERNATIONAL LIMITED: Wed 12/09/2007 10:12

Dear Mr. Donovan,

Please see attached.  A hard copy will follow by post.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Allen

The attached letter:

Dear Sir

Subject Access Report

We refer to your email of 08 September 2007 addressed to Robert Allen of this office and written on behalf of Mr Alfred Donovan and yourself.

We note your intention to address a further Subject Access Request (“SAR”) to our client to cover communications passing between it and this firm, as you are entitled to do under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “Act”). Our client will comply with such a request fully and in good faith in accordance with its obligations under the Act, whilst having consideration to the exemptions and rights available to it therein.

We also note your intention to write to the Information Commissioner to request a ruling on the identification of third parties, currently redacted in our client’s response to your recent SAR.  It is clear you are entitled to take such action.  However, it is our client’s position that the identity of the third parties concerned is irrelevant to the accuracy of the data in respect of which our client is the data controller and which has been disclosed to you.

You also intend to write to the Information Commissioner stating your belief that our client is employing code names in order to avoid its obligations under the Act.

As stated in our letter of 05 September 2007, our client has complied fully and in good faith with its obligations under the Act. For the avoidance of doubt, we are instructed that our client has not used code names for the purposes you allege or at all in relation to you or Mr Alfred Donovan.

We confirm that our client has not relied on the exemption of self-incrimination in responding to your SAR.  We request that you inform any third parties with whom you have communicated, or intend to communicate, on this issue of this fact and of those set out above in relation to code names and the identity of third persons.

As set out in our previous letter, our client has fully complied with its statutory obligations in responding to your SAR, and has legitimately and in good faith exercised its rights, and protected the rights of third parties, in redacting and exempting certain information in its response.

Yours faithfully

REPLY BY ALFRED DONOVAN: Thu 13/09/2007 07:12

Dear Mr Ruddock

We are grateful to you and Mr Robert Allen of Simmons & Simmons for the replies kindly supplied by email yesterday.

We have revised the email to MP’s deleting reference to the codenames issue which you have both now dealt with in an unambiguous way. Under the circumstances we will not raise that particular issue with the Information Commissioner. If Shell would only follow the same path in all correspondence with us, rather than resorting to legalese, it would save shareholders a great deal of money.

The revised draft is printed below and assuming there are no objections to the facts set out therein, it will be circulated without further reference to Shell or Simmons & Simmons.

Yours sincerely
Alfred Donovan

REVISED DRAFT: The safety of your constituents is at risk

Bill Campbell, the former Shell Group Auditor recently sent you an email warning of an inevitable catastrophe on Shell North Sea platforms unless action is taken. Bill led the safety audit team which discovered a “Touch F*** All” safety policy endorsed by Shell management. Shell failed to take adequate remedial steps to deal with falsified safety reports and bodged repairs discovered in the audit. Two offshore workers died in a subsequent avoidable accident. Shell was fined £900,000 after admitting responsibility.

Bill is convinced that despite these events, Shell is still putting profits and production before safety.

If Bill’s warnings are proved correct, families all over the UK, including in your constituency, could lose loved ones because Shell, which made $26.3 billion profit in 2006, has not faced up to its responsibilities in relation to offshore employee safety.

Information published on the HSE website proves that contrary to claims by Shell, safety and fatality statistics are getting worse, not better. For example since the fatalities, on average, an enforcement order has been placed against Shell every 40 days or so, leading to almost continual breach with 88 separate breaches of legislation.

The campaign led by Bill has gathered momentum since he wrote to you. A number of MP’s kindly intervened by making representations to Shell or to the Minister responsible. If you have not taken action, please send an email to the Executive Director of Shell EP, Malcolm Brinded (malcolmbrindedatxxxxxx) expressing your concern, with a copy to Bill (Cambellxxxxx.com) so he is aware of your support. It will only take a few minutes but could, in combination with the efforts of others, result in lives being saved.

We are also delighted with the media publicity. There have been several articles mentioning the joint campaign involving Bill and the website royaldutchshellplc.com which I own with my son, John Donovan e.g. in the Daily Mail on 1 September an article headlined: “Shell on back foot as gripe site alleges safety concerns” and another in the Daily Telegraph on 8 Sept: “Pressure on Shell over safety of platforms”.

The mission of our non commercial website is to persuade Shell to live up to the core principles in Shell’s Statement of General Business Principles pledging integrity, honesty, transparency and respect for people in all of Shell’s dealings. If Shell had abided by its own ethical code, there would have been no “Touch F*** All” culture and no Brent Bravo fatalities (and no reserves fraud).

Two offshore unions last week joined the growing chorus of voices expressing serious reservations over these matters. On 6 Sept, BBC News reported “Two offshore unions have called on the HSE to investigate Shell’s operations in the North Sea”.

An interview with Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer by The Guardian on 31 Aug 2007 contained the following sentence:

“He also makes clear he was hurt by the coverage of another fiasco – when a Shell consultant, Bill Campbell, blew the whistle on safety breaches in the North Sea.”

Although sorry his feelings are hurt, that is preferable to more Shell employees losing their lives.

On a related matter, we obtained via a SAR application, Shell internal documents revealing a frenzied reaction to the prospect of a Campbell/Donovan alliance. It included the creation of a crisis reaction team designed to torpedo the budding relationship and thwart our activities. We will write further on Shell’s panic stricken machinations.

Released documents contained admissions never meant for public consumption and evidence of further documents relating to us. We asked Shell for the missing information and on 6 Sept received an unsatisfactory response from solicitors hastily retained by Shell. We gave Shell advance sight of an earlier version of this email and have deleted the only information categorically stated by Shell as being factually incorrect.

Yours sincerely
Alfred Donovan

CONCLUDING REPLY FROM KEITH RUDDOCK: Thu 13/09/2007 10:02

Dear Mr Donovan,

Thank you for your email of 13th September.  Simmons & Simmons have already addressed the points you have previously raised on your and your son’s SARs in their letter to you of 12th September.

In respect of the content of your proposed email to MPs as it relates to North Sea safety issues, I repeat that the lack of a rebuttal from, or comment by, Shell does not in any way constitute an acceptance on Shell’s part of the accuracy of any of the points made by you, whether now or in the future, and whether on this or on any other matter, and we continue to reserve our position accordingly in respect of those matters

Yours sincerely

Keith Ruddock

General Counsel Exploration and Production
Shell International B.V.
The Hague, The Netherlands – Trade Register no. 27155369
Address: c/o Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, The Netherlands

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