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Former Shell boss Watts loses case against FSA

Financial Times: Former Shell boss Watts loses case against FSA

“The judgement by the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal, which concerned an FSA penalty notice against the company itself, came as Sir Philip faces a separate investigation into his own conduct and vowed to keep fighting to clear his name.”

Tuesday 13 September 2005

By Barney Jopson
Published: September 13 2005

The Financial Services Authority was on Tuesday celebrating a legal victory over Sir Philip Watts, former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, after a tribunal ruled the regulator had not prejudiced him during the oil company’s reserves scandal.

The judgement by the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal, which concerned an FSA penalty notice against the company itself, came as Sir Philip faces a separate investigation into his own conduct and vowed to keep fighting to clear his name.

The City watchdog welcomed the result, with lawyers saying it had removed the threat of FSA investigations into companies being delayed significantly by new concerns over the rights of executives.

But speaking through his solicitors Sir Philip maintained he had acted properly.

“Sir Philip continues to believe that the FSA’s factual findings in the Final Notice against Shell are flawed. Sir Philip acted properly and in good faith at all times,” said Herbert Smith, the law firm.

It added: “He will continue his fight to clear his name and believes that he will be vindicated if any proceedings are instituted against him.”

Sir Philip had argued that his reputation was unfairly impinged by the Financial Service Authority ruling last year that the company, now called Royal Dutch Shell, had engaged in ”unprecedented misconduct” that resulted in market abuse, for which it was fined £17m ($31.06m).

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