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John Donovan, Shell’s Nightmare: Secret Litigation Settlements

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By John Donovan

I published an article earlier today listing a number of settlements that Shell has made in various litigation claims ranging from fraud to complicity in murder. 

Shell’s settlement of my first three High Court claims against the company were all shrouded in secrecy. 

See: High Court papers unveil ‘secret’ Shell writ losses.” 

The same applied in respect of three further High Court actions, all settled secretly by Shell, including all my legal costs. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 21.02.41Extract from my most recent ebook “John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare”:

Shell settlements with me were inevitably surrounded by secrecy and deception designed to prevent embarrassing information reaching third parties, particularly Shell shareholders. 

The following was a clause in Shell’s last secret settlement with me:

The parties undertake to keep this Deed and the contents (including the fact of a payment being made) confidential to the parties and their professional advisors save that disclosure may take place under compulsion of law.” 

Shell then issued a “joint press release” written by them deliberately designed to deceive the news media about the true outcome of a three-week trial.

The truth about the settlement in the “SMART” case was even withheld from the Judge, the late Mr. Justice Laddie. He did not know of the existence of the Deed in question and made public comments based on deliberately incomplete information provided by Shell. 

Matters were further complicated by the fact that the Judge had failed to declare connections with Shell and the Moody-Stuart family. Sir Mark Moody-Stuart was at the time Group Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell. Mr. Justice Laddie was aware that Lady Judy Moody-Stuart, the wife of Sir Mark, had become personally involved in the litigation as a result of contacting my father. 

The Judge was subsequently placed in a difficult situation as a result of various actions on my part, including lodging a complaint against him. He became the first High Court Judge in decades to resign. The newspapers were baffled by the implausible explanation he gave. Mr. Justice Laddie may well have been a victim of Shell’s deceit. 

It all makes me wonder how many claims Shell has secretly settled that shareholders know nothing about?

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 16.28.36 and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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