Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image Shell finishing school for corporate crooks: 2 August 2006

By Alfred Donovan

Sir David Varney is another graduate of the Shell management finishing school for corporate crooks, some of whom have already been publicly exposed as fraudsters as a result of the Shell reserves scandal. The name of Sir Philip Watts springs to mind.

(The majority of current directors of Royal Dutch Shell Plc including its Chief Executive Officer, Jeroen van der Veer, are defendants in a global class action lawsuit involving allegations of fraud. Shell has already agreed to settle another similar law suit brought against named Shell directors including Van der Veer, Maarten van den Bergh and Malcolm Brinded, the incompetent Chief Executive of Shell Exploration and Production responsible for a number of Shell white elephant projects. Shell has set aside over $600 million to settle the class action lawsuits arising from the reserves fraud and has paid $150 million in fines imposed by the financial regulators. The U.S. Justice Department is still investigating bringing criminal charges).

Last weekend an article was published in the Sunday Telegraph about irregularities in the awarding of major contracts by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) involving a company called Coven Consultants.  The integrity of Sir David, who is the Chairman of HMRC and a former Managing Director of Shell U.K. Limited (known as “Napoleon” because of his small stature and big ego) has been brought into question in the article.  It does not take an Einstein to read between the lines and fathom out what is being implied.  

Varney announced that he was leaving the HMRC the day after a critical report was published by the UK National Audit Office about the dubious basis on which some HMRC contracts were awarded in breach of public procurement rules.  The Sunday Telegraph article is reprinted below.  

Once again we are not in the least surprised at what is being said and implied about a former senior Shell executive.  My son John and I had dealings with Varney while he was still at Shell and found his behaviour to be completely at odds with the core principles of Shell’s Statement of General Business Principles (the SGBP), which pledge honesty, integrity and transparency in all of Shell’s dealings.

As a direct consequence, we have been engaged for over a decade in bouts of litigation with the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Currently Shell lawyers have issued proceedings demanding my presence in a High Court in Malaysia for cross examination in their draconian defamation action against a Shell whistleblower, Dr John Huong, a geologist who worked for Shell for over 29 years. Being a man of the highest integrity, he insisted on working within the boundaries of Shell’s SGBP.  This clashed with the deeply ingrained corporate culture of Shell management, founded on cover-up and deception. 

The complete article can be read via the link below: –

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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