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Below is an article supplied to Shell in advance of publication. The relevant email correspondence with Richard Wiseman, the Shell official who is the subject of the article is printed immediately below it. It contains his comments and our response.

By Alfred and John Donovan

This is the first in a series of articles in which we provide overwhelming evidence why Richard Wiseman (above) is an unfit person to be the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

From Shell’s standpoint, we are sure Wiseman did a good job as General Counsel and later as Legal Director of Shell UK. We understand from our sources that he is generally liked and respected by colleagues. He is loyal to the company and Shell executive directors. We acknowledge that Mr Wiseman has many admirable qualities.

However, he also has a dark side with a track record of involvement in rule bending, cover-up, entrapment, deception, undercover activity, intimidation and trickery on behalf of the oil giant. We therefore contend that he is entirely the wrong person to be the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the worlds second largest multinational.

We deal in this first article with the rule bending.

Here, in his own words, in the last paragraph of his own letter, on Shell headed stationary, is admittance by Wiseman of deliberately ignoring professional rules. 

A number of Shell executives at the time, including Royal Dutch Shell Group Managing Directors, John Jennings and Mark Moody-Stuart, and Dr Chris Fay, Chairman & Chief Executive of Shell UK, were all involved in the discussions, negotiations and related funding agreement with us which culminated in the proposed mediation which was the subject of the letter. 

Such is his loyalty to Shell senior executives that Wiseman had already implemented the funding agreement he was dead set against from the outset. He ended up bending rules to suit his masters wishes to bring to a conclusion embarrassing matters involving intellectual property theft which had impacted on Shell’s reputation. No doubt it was this degree of ambition and willingness to set aside ethical considerations, which contributed towards his elevation to current high office at the company. 

Incredibly, it is now the job of Richard Wiseman to enforce and uphold Shell’s ethical code, the Shell General Business Principles.

Was his appointment made on the basis of poacher turned gamekeeper? How can it be right for an individual with his track record to be the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of Shell?


From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
To: Wiseman, Richard RM SI-RDS-CCO
Sent: Fri May 22 09:16:40 2009
Subject: Draft Article
Dear Mr Wiseman

Printed below is a self-explanatory draft article. We are happy to publish unedited with the article any comments you wish to make as to its accuracy. If we receive no reply by 5pm Monday we will assume that you do not challenge the facts as set out.

John Donovan 



From: <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 10:49:08 +0200
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Draft Article

This is entirely consistent with the provocative hateful material I have endured from you for years.

If you have complaints about my professional conduct, I suggest you report them to my regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority. I have no doubt why you have not done so; your assertions would stand up to no serious scrutiny.

Please print this response with your article.

Richard Wiseman

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

Registered in England and Wales number 4366849
Registered Office:  Shell Centre, London, SE1
Headquarters: Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, 2596 HR
The Hague, The Netherlands



From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 14:05:48 +0100
To: <[email protected]>
Conversation: Draft Article
Subject: Re: Draft Article

Dear Mr Wiseman

Thank you for the speedy response.

I can only surmise that your over-reaction stems from shock at reading the relevant email which substantiates the charge of you being a rule bender, which you cannot and notably do not deny. Given the lack of response and action by the Office for Supervising of Solicitors to our last complaint (about Colin Joseph) relating to sleazy undercover activity undertaken at the behest of Shell, we have no intention of wasting time approaching another solicitors regulation authority.  

We do not hate you or anyone else associated with Shell. We would not have included the second paragraph if we disliked you. We mentioned that you have many admirable qualities. Past articles authored by us have recorded our praise of these qualities.

What we are saying is that in our opinion, based on many dealings with you over many years, you are entirely unsuitable for the post you now hold.

We will in coming weeks publish articles (and related evidence) dealing with other matters mentioned in the third paragraph. We will also  include a reference to censorship in the current draft. You may recall your email in respect of the now defunct Tell Shell discussion forum. How can secret censorship be compatible with the Shell commitment to transparency pledged in the Shell General Business Principles?

Shell does take legal action when it feels able to challenge allegations. As you know, eight Royal Dutch Shell Group companies are currently collectively suing Dr John Huong for alleged defamation in respect of publications on our website. That action has been in progress since June 2004. In a gross violation of human rights, Dr Huong has been buried in Shell injunctions, including an application seeking his imprisonment.

If the quoted facts and assertions in our draft article are untrue, Shell should fund an action to protect your personal reputation and integrity, or sue us directly to protect the reputation and integrity of the company – the little, if any, which remains after the securities fraud and the “TFA” Brent Bravo scandal. Because the facts are well-founded and supported by documentary evidence, I predict Shell will continue with the current policy.

You have chosen to characterise as hate what is actually fact based legitimate criticism. I am entitled as a Shell shareholder to point out facts from your past history with Shell even though they are extremely embarrassing and unpalatable to you and Shell senior management.

Any further response will be added on an unedited (uncensored) basis to the existing correspondence and article which will be published later today.

Yours sincerely

John Donovan


Version of this article on Blogger News Network

Shell Ethics Chief claims he is subject of ‘provocative hateful’ campaign

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