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Posts under ‘Peter Rees QC’


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19 July 2016

Mr. Gary Thomson SI-LSC/K
Shell International Limited
40 Bank Street
London E14 5NR

Dear Mr Thomson

Data Protection Act 1998 – Subject Access Request (SAR)

Thank you for your email dated 19 July 2016.

Please find enclosed completed application forms together with a postal order for £10 made out to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

I obtained it before finding out that the fee can now instead be paid to a charity.

As you are aware, I operate – a website focussed on the activities of Shell. read more

Musings about the OPL 245 Shell/ENI corruption scandal and the sinking confidence in Prelude

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I would have thought that Simon Henry’s position as CFO should now be untenable, in view of the apparent lack of effective financial governance in Nigeria while he was CFO. 

By John Donovan

A large number of press articles have appeared recently mentioning Ben van Beurden. 

Since these articles are presumably fed to the press by Shell’s PR team, and Shell is not a one-man company, I checked to see whether other Shell directors have appeared recently in press releases.

The results are somewhat curious. For example, searching for Matthias Bichsel on Google News shows that articles were published about him at least weekly until October last year, but the articles then stopped abruptly. References to Simon Henry seem to have dried up a few weeks ago – until mid-March there were articles on Henry on an almost daily basis, but recently there has been nothing. Harry Brekelmans seems to have had a low profile since his appointment, so it is harder to see whether any change has occurred. Andy Brown has almost as many press articles as Ben van Beurden.  read more

Leaving a sinking ship: Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 14.58.51Bichsel will undoubtedly leave shortly, joining Ollila, Rees, Brown, Brinded, Voser, Finlayson, Carne… And when everything starts to collapse, he will at least now have the satisfaction of saying “I told you so”. This is typical for a coward…

By John Donovan

Earlier today Reuters published comments attributed to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Executive Director, Matthias Bichsel.


“There is always so much talk about these big LNG projects around the world, but only a small fraction of them will get built,” said Matthias Bichsel, who is also a member of Shell’s Executive Committee.

The Financial Times has this weekend pointed put “the company’s leadership is changing at a time when its financial performance has been under scrutiny from investors” and also drew attention to the recent profit warning, following a succession of dismal quarterly results.  read more

Peter Voser spending more time with his family

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 14.32.05By John Donovan

When the surprise announcement was made by Peter Voser that he would be stepping down early from his position as Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, it was claimed that his early exit was prompted by a sudden desire to spend more time with his family.

It supposedly had nothing to do with the financial meltdown that happened on his watch and resulted in a profits warning being issued as soon as he had been pushed out the door. 

Voser was responsible for a number of bungled mega projects, including Arctic oil exploration. read more

Peter Rees refuses to comment on circumstances of exit from Shell

Peter Rees QC

Peter Rees QC

Extract from an article by Kate Beioley published by THE LAWYER on 1 April 2014 under the headline: Coming out of his Shell: Peter Rees on leaving “the best job in law”

General counsel at Shell – “the best job in law” according to Peter Rees QC. So what prompted the silk to stand down two years ahead of schedule in November 2013? Rees refuses to comment on the exact process leading to his departure…


Peter Rees reappears but mystery remains over his exit from Shell

Peter Rees QC

Peter Rees QC

“Rees’ departure from Shell prompted much speculation in the City, given the company’s recent profit warnings, the on-going European Commission investigation into oil price-rigging and the arrival of new CEO Ben van Beurden.”Mr Rees has refused to comment on the circumstances of his unexpected and unexplained departure from Royal Dutch Shell during a financial crisis. 

By John Donovan

Peter Rees, until January Legal Director of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and an executive director of the company, has resurfaced at London Chambers “Thirty Nine Essex Street” as a counsel and commercial arbitrator. A considerable fall in prestige. He led a 1,000 strong legal department at Shell.

The reason for his sudden department from Shell days before the company issued a profits warning that shook the markets was said to be known by only three people other than Rees- Peter Voser, the retiring CEO, Ben van Beurden, the incoming CEO, and HR boss, Hugh Mitchell. read more

Intrigue over unexplained sudden exit of Shell legal chief Peter Rees QC

Extract from article published 24 Feb 2014 by Legal Week under the headline: “Former Shell legal chief Peter Rees QC to return to private practice”

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29One source close to the matter said: “Only three people at Shell know the reason behind his exit: Peter, Ben and (chief human resources and corporate officer) Hugh Mitchell. read more

Shell Appoints new Legal Director

Shell Legal Director, Donny Ching

Shell Legal Director, Donny Ching

FROM LAW CAREERS NET: Prominent in-house appointments have made the news this month, with Royal Dutch Shell naming Donny Ching as its new legal director… As The Lawyer reported, Ching’s appointment at Shell followed the unexpected departure of legal director Peter Rees QC. Ching leaves his current role as general counsel for Shell’s project and technology group; to date, he has held positions within the business in Hong Kong, London, Qatar, Singapore and, most recently, the Netherlands. read more

What you don’t know about Royal Dutch Shell’s Profit Warning

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.05.56I can exclusively reveal today that the question of whether Shell was legally obliged to issue a profits warning did not first arise in relation to the final quarter. It was raised at the highest levels of Shell and of the Financial Conduct Authority some months earlier, in between the announcement of Peter Voser’s early retirement and the announcement of the Q3 results.

By John Donovan

Shell shareholders have been faced with a series of shocks, one stunning announcement by Royal Dutch Shell Plc after another.

All rather mysterious and without any credible explanation.

Started with the announcement of Voser’s decision to take early retirement from Shell at the age of 55, as a lifestyle change. It was said at the time to have “stunned investors.”

Next came the surprise announce of Ben van Beurden as his replacement. No one guessed that he was even in the race for the top job at Shell. read more

Royal Dutch Shell appoints Donny Ching as its new legal director

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29The Lawyer: Royal Dutch Shell has appointed Donny Ching as its new legal director with immediate effect. Former-barrister Ching has been based in Rijswijk in the western Netherlands as general counsel for Shell’s project and technology group…



Shell names HR chief as interim head of legal: 6 February 2014

Exclusive: Shell legal boss Rees in shock departure: 10 January 2014

Exclusive: Energy giant Shell names UK legal chief in top level reshuffle: 9 September 2013 read more

Hugh Mitchell named as Shell interim legal boss

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52We can only speculate about the sudden resignation of Peter Rees QC days after Ben van Beurden took up his new role as Chief Executive Officer of the company. Since then, Shell’s image and reputation has undergone a transformation from a successful multinational to a company in crisis, having issued a profits warning, abandoned mega projects and embarked on a massive fire sale of assets. The temporary appointment of a non lawyer to be head of Shell’s legal department, as announced today, further undermines confidence in the stability of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

By John Donovan

The Lawyer reports today that Hugh Mitchell, the head of Shell HR (an executive director of Royal Dutch Shell Plc) is now in temporary charge of Shell legal assisted by Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate.

Sounds like desperation stakes bearing in mind that Mitchell is not even a lawyer and is also a member of the executive committee responsible for the current meltdown at Shell.

He also  has ultimate responsibility for Shell internal and external communications, Shell real estate, Shell global security, Shell health and Shell aircraft. Now head of legal without any legal qualifications. Jack of all trades… read more

Shareholder Shell distances itself from Oman bribes case

AFTER the rumpus over the exit of Royal Dutch Shell’s legal director on Wednesday, the oil giant’s media team was no doubt hoping for a quiet end to the week. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Yesterday, Diary picked up reports in the Arab press about corruption at Shell’s Omani joint venture, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).

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City Diary Edited by Harriet Dennys: Friday 24 January 2014. Page B4.

AFTER the rumpus over the exit of Royal Dutch Shell’s legal director on Wednesday, the oil giant’s media team was no doubt hoping for a quiet end to the week.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Yesterday, Diary picked up reports in the Arab press about corruption at Shell’s Omani joint venture, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).

According to Reuters, the head of the tender committee at PDO, Juma AI Hinai, was this month sentenced to three years in jail and fined 600,000 rials (£938,000), after being found guilty of accepting a bribe from a local contractor. read more

The destabilisation of Royal Dutch Shell gathers pace

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 15.21.18While speculation still swirls about the unexpected early exit by Peter Voser and the abrupt departure by Peter Rees, we can now add the name of Andy Brown to the mystery about the seismic developments and uncertainty that has engulfed Royal Dutch Shell Plc. 

By John Donovan 

Three weeks ago I published an article under the headline Voser wisely abandons an unstable ship.

I listed some of the factors that led me to make that assessment.

Since then the destabilisation of Royal Dutch Shell has gathered pace with the profits warning that shocked the markets on Friday. 

Today, Shell made an announcement about Andy Brown, the third exit (in his case extended medical leave after heart surgery) from the committee of executive directors in as many weeks.

While speculation still swirls about the unexpected early exit by Peter Voser and the abrupt departure by Peter Rees, we can now add the name of Andy Brown to the mystery about the seismic developments and uncertainty that has engulfed Royal Dutch Shell Plc.  read more

Shell’s Oil Production Director Andy Brown Takes Medical Leave

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54“First Voser, then Rees and now Brown…would the last one to leave the CMD please remember to turn out the lights?”: “Just read the news on your site! What is happening??? Never heard any rumour he was not well. And to quote Yogi Berra: ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’…. Who is next?”

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By Eduard Gismatullin January 20, 2014

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), the biggest oil company in Europe, said its production director Andy Brown is taking leave to recuperate from recent medical treatment.

Maarten Wetselaar, executive vice president for integrated gas projects, will be acting upstream chief in addition to his duties until Brown returns, The Hague-based Shell said today in a statement without indicating when that might be.

Brown, at Shell for about 30 years, became head of upstream operations in 2012. He has led the Pearl gas-to-liquids project in Qatar, the Anglo-Dutch company’s most expensive, and was responsible for the Qatargas-4 liquefied natural gas venture. read more

Sudden exit of Shell executive director linked to profit warning?

Speculation from a usually well-informed source

Can’t help but wonder whether *Rees’ departure just days ago was because he refused to sign off on the accounts?

Bad as they were, it’s possible that the accounts would have been far worse if they had reflected the true state of affairs.

* Sudden departure of Shell global legal boss Peter Rees QC

Royal Dutch Shell Fire Sale

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 14.34.31By John Donovan

The Financial Times has published an article today about Shell’s dramatic plans under the surprise new CEO, Ben van Beurden, to dispose of a string of assets, including North Sea oilfields.

According to one quoted analyst, Shell may divest $30 billion in non-core assets, including its stake in Woodside in Australia and assets in the USA and Nigeria.

The article by Guy  Chazan says: “Shell has underperformed the European oil and gas sector by 6 per cent over the past year, dragged down by a string of disappointing quarterly results…. It has been criticised for spending too much and not rewarding shareholders enough. read more

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