4 September 2009
From John Donovan
Mr Michiel Brandjes
Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate,
Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Dear Mr Brandjes
Section 7 (1) of the Data Protection Act
I formally request that you please send me the information which I am entitled to under section 7 (1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to my dealings with Shell since the act came into force. This is to include all documents, reports, communications, correspondence, transcripts and any other information held by Shell, which contain my name, or information which relates to me.
In this connection, I have supplied some background information with links when possible to published articles providing dates which will hopefully assist in locating relevant information. To save constantly repeating the formal request and the range of documents, reports etc set out in the above paragraph, please take it that it applies whenever I use the term “I request all relevant information”.
This request is in relation to research for a book currently being drafted and the preparation of leaflets for distribution at the Shell Centre.
If you need further information from me, or a fee, please let me know as soon as possible.
If you do not normally handle these requests for your organisation, please pass this email to your Data Protection Officer or other appropriate officer.
My former company Don Marketing brought a series of High Court actions against Shell UK Limited between 1994 and 1996 alleging breach of contract and breach of confidence. My name appeared in related relevant correspondence and documents. All of the actions were secretly settled by Shell. I also personally brought High Court proceedings against Shell UK Limited for alleged breach of confidence and alleged breach of contract in respect of the SMART loyalty card, plus a separate libel action in 1998, also against Shell UK Limited. Shell was unsuccessful in a High Court hearing when it attempted to have the libel action struck off. Shell was ordered to pay costs. I request all relevant information.
The libel action was settled by Shell as part of the 1999 settlement by Shell of the SMART case when Shell paid my legal costs. I also demanded and received a secret payment. The full terms were undisclosed even to the trial Judge, the late Mr Justice Laddie. I understand that the compromise settlement was personally authorised by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, the then Group Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. I request all relevant information involving Sir Mark, Shell UK Limited and DJ Freeman, the solicitors retained by Shell that put forward two settlements proposals, the second of which I accepted.
Since 2001, my *father and/or me, have been in communication from time to time with Shell legal departments and Shell management on various matters arising from the litigation and from the operation of Shell related websites owned by us. I request all relevant information.
I have corresponded directly over many years with management, officials and in-house lawyers at various companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group including Shell UK Limited, The “Shell” Transport and Trading Company Pic , Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, Shell International Petroleum Company Limited, Shell Exploration & Production and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. I request all relevant information.
Most of the correspondence with Shell lawyers has been with you and your colleague, Mr Richard Wiseman and to a lessor extent, Mr Keith Ruddock. I am also seeking copies of internal correspondence between Shell employees/in-house lawyers and correspondence by Shell with external parties, including retained UK solicitors Mackrell Turner Garrett, DJ Freeman and Simmons and Simmons, Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, journalists, news publishers and our website hosting companies MyHosting in Canada and BlueHost.com in the USA, who both received “cease and desist letters” from Shell, probably Shell International, in an attempt to close down our website. Both hosting companies initially refused to disclose the name of the company making threats against them. I request all relevant information.
I am aware that Shell legal divisions have also sent communications about me to other third parties including, for example, the Legal Aid Board, during 1998/99 . I am also aware of correspondence about me involving management of Shell Group companies including Mark Moody-Stuart. Shell UK Media Relations has issued libelous press statements about me, and distributed libelous information about me to Shell employees. I request all relevant historic, subsequent and current information.
Shell UK legal director Mr Richard Wiseman was interviewed on 10 September 1998 about me by Mr Simon Rines, a journalist representing the Guardian newspaper. Since Shell tape-recorded the interview, I assume that a transcript exists. I am particularly interested in Shell internal and external correspondence (including with DJ Freeman) relating to the use of private investigation/enquiry agents which Shell has admitted using and any related Shell correspondence with the Hakluyt commercial spying organisation in which titled Shell Transport directors/shareholders Sir Peter Holmes and Sir William Purves were directors/shareholders. I request all relevant information. Please include any correspondence between Shell and the Suffolk Constabulary during the related Police investigations.
Mr Wiseman also confirmed that Shell carried out a related internal investigation. I request all relevant information.
In or around 2002, Mr Wiseman had contact with Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Andrew Lazenby, Phillip Watts, Clive Mather and others in relation to a manuscript authored by my father. My name was included in the manuscript circulated by Mr Wiseman which contained allegations against Shell and the Judge for the SMART trial, Mr Justice Laddie. In this connection, I request all relevant information involving Mr Wiseman and Mr Justice Laddie, or with Sir Hugh Laddie QC as he was known after his resignation as a Judge (by coincidence or otherwise) following a complaint made by my father to Lord Falconer, the then Lord Chancellor.
The complaint was in regard to extraordinary events which took place in the trial and the blatant bias in favour of Shell displayed by the Judge. I refer in part to the court room ambush, attempted entrapment and outright deception which took place in front of the judge. A motorbike messenger was said to be in transit from the supermarket company J Sainbury’s carrying documentary evidence. In fact there was no messenger, no motorbike and no evidence. Despite this dishonest charade, the trial was suspended while my house was searched. There was no credible evidence to support the allegations made on behalf of Shell nor the related deception that was allowed to take place in open court. I am aware that Mr Wiseman subsequently had a commercial relationship with the Sir Hugh Laddie. I request all relevant information.
The judge failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest in respect of his commercial connection with Tom Moody-Stuart, the IP barrister son of Sir Mark and the Judges decades long friendship with Tony Willoughby, who had Shell as a long term client. The Moody-Stuart name was raised during the trial when unusual correspondence between my father and Judy Moody-Stuart, the wife of Mark Moody-Stuart, was handed to the Judge. The correspondence was initiated by Judy Moody-Stuart. I request all relevant information regarding Shell contact with Mr Justice Laddie or any other party in relation to the trial, the Moody-Stuart correspondence or the manuscript. This includes DJ Freeman and Geoffrey Hobbs QC.
I also seek all relevant correspondence related to the alleged breach by Richard Wiseman in or around August 2001 of the 1999 “peace treaty”.
In response to our SAR application in 2007, Shell supplied its correspondence with solicitors acting for Bill Campbell when an unsuccessful attempt was made to persuade him not to have contact with us. I request all relevant information, past or subsequent.
The same SAR application also generated Shell internal correspondence revealing that a crisis reaction team had been set up to counter our website activities. The content of one email was decidedly hostile towards us. Please supply any further correspondence or documents relating to the same or any subsequent team, third party, or person, involved in any such activities. I would also like sight of any information naming or referring to me in the possession or control of Shell Global Security. Please also address this request to Ian Forbes McCredie OBE, the former British Secret Service officer who is head of Shell Global Security and Richard T. Garcia, the former senior FBI official of 25 years standing, who is Global Security Advisor for Shell International. I request all relevant information.
Please also supply any Shell correspondence with Saudi Aramco, and/or the Saudi Arabia government/regime, and/or Motiva Enterprises, in which I am referred to or named. I request all relevant information.
Please supply all relevant information relating to our contact with Mr Ray Fox and the publication by us of his allegations against Shell.
Since July 1999, the end of the last High Court action, there has been no court proceedings brought by any Shell company against me, or by me against any Shell company. Hence there are no such proceedings in progress. The last such High Court litigation was over a decade ago. This means that no correspondence or documents are protected by legal privilege.
I would therefore request sight of any documents involved in the US class action Civ.No. 04-374 (JAP) in respect of the Royal Dutch Shell securities fraud in which I am referred to or named. I understand that my name was raised by Shell in relation to the attempted expansion of the action to include non-USA claimants, with Mr Peter M Wood acting as the representative of all non USA Shell shareholders. Mr Wood came forward as a result of an appeal on our website on behalf of the lead plaintiff lawyers, Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP. I would also like access to any correspondence between Shell, or its agents or lawyers on its behalf, with the US Courts or the US Courts admin authorities (PACER) relating to my obtaining and publishing legal documents for the securities fraud case, or any other US case involving Shell, including the Wiwa v Shell case. I request all relevant information.
Finally, any Shell internal correspondence arising from our recent congratulatory emails to several hundred Shell executives.
My father, Alfred Donovan, is making a separate data access application