THE SHELL SMART HIGH COURT TRIAL
By John Donovan of royaldutchshellplc.com: Oct 2009
Some Shell employees may be puzzled why our leaflets are being distributed at Shell Centre a decade after a trial regarding the origin of the Shell SMART loyalty card had ended, supposedly in stalemate, with me withdrawing all allegations of impropriety against Shell in a so-called joint statement. In reality the stalemate announcement was a face-saving fabrication conjured up by Shell lawyers.
Shell settled the litigation in the midst of the cross-examination of a dishonest Shell manager AJL at the heart of all of our four High Court actions. Shell had already settled our first three claims. Scrutiny of his diaries and other documents released to us in discovery revealed that he was a disgruntled employee on the make. He had masterminded a corrupted tender process for our multi-partner loyalty card scheme, had stolen confidential IT property from numerous parties, including us, and funnelled them all to an agency with whom he had a close personal private relationship.
The diaries of AJL revealed his intent to set up his own business INSIDE Shell and make enough money to retire from the company at the age of 35. Shell internal email authored by him revealed his willingness to engage in illegal activity on behalf of Shell. He had an offshore bank account in which to stash his funds.
We drew the attention of ALL directors of Shell Transport, Royal Dutch Petroleum and Shell UK, to his blatantly dishonest deeds. Despite his gross violations of the SGBP, the hypocrites at the top of Shell, later involved in the reserves fraud, gave this unscrupulous manager their full support. We invited Shell UK Chairman Malcolm TFA Brinded to withdraw his support for AJL. He did not do so.
I received two settlement offers from Shell during the trial, accepting the second at the climax of the cross-examination of AJL. Shell paid ALL legal costs, said to be over £1 million. I also received a secret unsatisfactory payment (under duress) that was not disclosed even to the trial Judge, Mr Justice Laddie, now tragically deceased. The Judge was misled by Shell on the terms of settlement.
Shells underhand tactics before and during the trial and its insidious influence, destroyed the entitlement of a fair trial. Shell Legal Director Richard Wiseman, now Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, directed the Mafioso style operation. It was characterised by undercover activity (admitted in writing by Wiseman after a Shell agent was caught red-handed) and a bombardment of threats from Shell Chairman Mark Moody-Stuart downwards.
There was the even more sinister activity not admitted by Shell. Threats were made against our witnesses (and us); burglaries were carried out at several homes, including the residences of my solicitor and our main witness. Undercover agents using fake cover stories besieged our solicitors, our key witnesses and us. Wiseman denied any knowledge. He confirmed that Shell carried out an internal investigation. The Police also investigated. Shell lawyers warned that other agents were at work on their behalf, but would not reveal what they were doing.
Two years after the trial we discovered that Shell had a close relationship with a commercial intelligence firm Hakluyt & Company Ltd, set up by former senior officers of MI6. Titled Shell directors were directors and major shareholders in the spy firm that unsurprisingly had Shell as a client. These Shell directors were the ultimate spymasters, of spooks engaged on an international basis, in exactly the kind of covert subversive activities directed against Shells perceived enemies, that had also been directed at us. Shell did not disclose its involvement in such skulduggery to the Police when they were investigating the burglaries and threats.
We were also horrified to learn that the judge, who had displayed a blatant bias towards Shell, had undisclosed connections with the oil giant, including a commercial connection with Tom Moody-Stuart, the son of the then Shell chairman. After the trial, the Judge refused to correspond with us on the issue. The same applied to Moody-Stuart. The judge failed to disclose the connection despite being aware of an unusual handwritten letter of a personal nature we had received before the trial from Judy Moody-Stuart, the wife of the Shell Chairman.
During the trial, the judge allowed Shell lawyers directed by Wiseman to engage in subterfuge and attempted entrapment. At the climax of my cross-examination, it was intimated that a motorbike messenger was on route from J Sainsbury with documents that would prove I had forged a letter. In fact there was no documents, no forgery, no messenger and no motorbike. It was all a complete fabrication by Shell. The judge had allowed this attempted entrapment to take place.
By coincidence or otherwise, after we lodged a formal complaint with the Lord Chancellor, Hugh Laddie QC resigned in controversial circumstances which brought his judgement and integrity into question. His second undisclosed connection with Shell then emerged. He joined an IP law firm that had Shell as a long-standing client. Its founder, Tony Willoughby, was his lifetime friend. Laddie and Wiseman later worked together on a commercial project. Its a small world.
You can now understand why Richard Wiseman is behind the current attempt to prevent these leaflets from reaching Shell employees. Once again he is supporting Shells shameful use of subterfuge and intimidation. Please read the extraordinary recent correspondence with Wiseman posted on our website.
How on earth is any of this arrogant and evil predatory behaviour compatible with Shells claimed business principles? Unfortunately the principles are a sham.