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Evidence Shell is prepared to settle litigation on moral grounds

By John Donovan

As we are approaching the 20th anniversary of our spectacular falling out with Shell, involving Six High Court cases, a County Court action and unsuccessful proceedings issued by Shell via The World Intellectual Property Organisation, I have been looking at some of the past correspondence in connection with articles we intend to publish.

Parties contemplating or currently in litigation with Shell may be interested to know that the oil giant claims that it has settled litigation on moral grounds.

There is written confirmation of this surprising assertion in my correspondence in May 1997 with former Shell General Counsel Richard Wiseman (*above right – now retired).

Mr Wiseman was subsequently Shell UK Legal Director and in his last position before retiring earlier this year, the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Extract from Wiseman letter:

The moral obligation which we have referred to in the past and in relation to which we said that the slate was wiped clean arose out of the termination of the Company’s long standing relationship with you; not out of any particular claim. Accordingly, we feel that the slate remains wiped clean.

My reply:

Dear Mr Wiseman.

Thank you for your letter of 20 May.

I note your assertion that the settlement did not relate to any particular claim, but was some form of severance payment which discharged all of Shell’s moral obligations to DM. I wonder if any other non-retained agency has ever received a severance payment from Shell, let alone one for £200,000. You imply that a blanket absolution applied even to the misdeeds of which you had no knowledge at the mediation. With all due respect, this entire line of argument cannot be right.

If that really is what you had in mind, you failed to convey any such impression at the time of the settlement. There is not the slightest trace in the settlement documents or the letter received from Dr Fay of any termination element (the reverse is the case). Although we cannot accept what you are now claiming, it seems sensible to set those issues to one side for the time being. We look forward to receiving the information being provided by D J Freeman.

It is interesting to note that involvement in a conspiracy to lure unsuspecting companies under false pretenses, into revealing confidential information to Shell, was no bar to promotion for the relevant Shell managers and executives. For example, Tim Hannagan is now Global Brands Standards and Performance Manager at Shell International Petroleum Company.

David Pirret, who was Shell’s Head of Retail during the relevant period and responsible for the Shell managers engaged in widespread deception and corrupt practices, is now a Royal Dutch Shell Executive Vice President.

WITNESS STATEMENT OF DAVID PIRRET (AT THE TIME, COUNTRY CHAIRMAN OF SHELL BRAZIL)

The Shell executive directly masterminding a carefully rigged contract tender process, Mr Andrew Lazenby, was a disgruntled employee intent to “Set up personal business while @ Shell 35 yrs = exit date.” It was his apparent objective to exploit his position to create enough personal wealth to exit Shell at the age of 35. He aptly described himself  in an email to several Shell colleagues, including Tim Hannagan, as “machiavellian.”

The insider information about Mr Lazenby comes from documents, including his diaries, supplied in the discovery process. His diaries also revealed that he had an offshore bank account and a personal relationship with directors of a company which miraculously won the Shell SMART contract without ever taking part in the tender.

Naturally we brought these matters to the attention of Shell directors, including the then Managing Director of Shell UK Limited, Malcolm Brinded. Despite overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing, Mr Lazenby was able to conclude his Witness Statement claiming unreserved support from Shell management to the highest levels…

Shell ended up in the situation it is currently in with this website because management made the mistake of backing an unscrupulous ruthless Shell executive who to put it bluntly, was on the make. Because we are in possession of so much evidence, Shell will not take us to court and has to put up with the consequences – well deserved long term damage to its reputation.

Detailed information about the Shell SMART contract scam is contained in the article ALARM BELLS RING OVER TENDERING FOR ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CONTRACTS

*The photograph of Mr Wiseman was supplied by him on an unsolicited basis for use on this website.

1 Comment on “Evidence Shell is prepared to settle litigation on moral grounds”

  1. #1 babystrangeloop
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 03:35

    It is such a fabulous time to hate an oil corporation (or what’s left of one.)

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