Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Shell in legal row over Smart Card

Extracts from the ebook “John Donovan, Shell’s Nightmare” (now available on Amazon websites globally)

(BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT SHELL’S 25 YEAR FEUD WITH JOHN DONOVAN – which puts the extracts below in overall context.)

From pages 48 & 49

Extracts Begin

My attention was first drawn to the libelous Shell press statement by Rachel Oldroyd, a reporter from the Financial Mail On Sunday who published an article on 19 April 1998.

Her interest was probably triggered by an article published a few days earlier – on the front page and page 5 of Marketing Week Magazine, 16 April 1998: ”Shell faces High Court battle over Smart Card.”

A Daily Telegraph article published on 11 June 1998, also referred to the libel action: “Donovan’s beef with Shell on-line


Donovan is alleging a breach of confidence and breach of contract and has also filed a separate writ for libel.

Shell applied to the High Court to have the libel action struck off on the grounds that the comments in the statement of 21 April 1998 were not defamatory.

The application was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice by Mr. Justice Eady, the well-known libel/privacy Judge. He rejected Shell’s application and made Shell pay substantial legal costs.

The case was one of those later settled by Shell, with Shell paying all of my legal costs for the Smart litigation and the related libel action. I also received a secret payment.

In 2011, I published a related article: “Fond memories of Mr Justice Eady, the privacy law judge


On 18th April 1998 I was surprised to learn from Rachel Oldroyd, a reporter from the “Financial Mail On Sunday”, that Shell had issued a press statement that clearly inferred that previous claims I had brought against the oil giant were bogus, thus repeating a libel of March 1995, which Shell had already settled at some considerable cost to Shell shareholders.

The following day, the “Mail On Sunday” published a report written by Rachel actually quoting from the Shell press statement. Shell issued a further libelous press statement on 25th April 1998 and then on 27th April 1998, capped it all by circulating a letter to its service station network containing a further libel. A trade magazine subsequently published an article relying on the information in Shell’’s press statements. Also in April 1998, Shell had circulated a libelous statement about us to Shell staff.

What Shell had not anticipated is that we would get our hands on the offending materials. Friendly publications and Shell petrol station managers had been happy to supply us with copies, so that we had an astonishing array of hard evidence against Shell.

The Smart libel action and the related unsuccessful striking off application by Shell was also covered in a variety of other publications.

e.g. an article published 30 July 1998 by Marketing Week Magazine


Don claims first round in Shell libel action

Don Marketing, the sales promotion agency, is claiming a victory against Shell UK in the first round of a libel case against the oil giant.

Shell UK was ordered to pay costs for a preliminary hearing at the High Court which took place earlier this week. The libel case will be heard before a jury and Don Marketing will have the power to subpoena top Shell UK management, including chairman Chris Fay, to give evidence.

Also an article published by Loyalty Magazine under the headline: “McShell” case continues (screenshot on far left)


His company, sales promotion agency Don Marketing is claiming a first round victory against Shell UK in a libel case already being dubbed “McShell,” because of its David and Goliath-style similarities to the “Mclibel” case.

And an article published by Incentive Today Magazine, September 1998 edition, under the headline: “Shell smacked over libel action


The legal wrangle between John Donovan and Shell UK continues with Donovan claiming victory in the first round.

In response to the writ Shell issued the press statement to Incentive Today which was printed in the May edition. Donovan immediately issued a writ for libel on the grounds that the statement implies that previous claims that he has made against Shell were without merit and that the Smart claim is bogus.

Shell attempted to have the writ struck off in a High Court hearing in July but failed and was ordered to pay costs.

Extracts from the John Donovan ebook ends.

(Shell later settled the high court litigation brought in relation to SHELL SMART and the libel actions.


John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare: Genesis

John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare: Süddeutsche Zeitung article

GERMAN TV: John Donovan’s revelations cost Shell billions


How Shell lost its majority stake in Sakhalin II

John Donovan, Group Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell PLC companies

Donovan family relationship with Shell

Long association with the Royal Dutch Shell

Since the 1990s, Shell has been at war with John Donovan

An unscrupulous Shell executive


Secret Shell Writ Losses

Shell caught red-handed in Make Money deception

Donovan Defamation Actions Against Shell and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

0 Comments on “Shell in legal row over Smart Card”

Leave a Comment

Comment Rules

  • Please show respect to the opinions of others no matter how seemingly far-fetched.
  • Abusive, foul language, and/or divisive comments may be deleted without notice.
  • Each blog member is allowed limited comments, as displayed above the comment box.
  • Comments must be limited to the number of words displayed above the comment box.
  • Please limit one comment after any comment posted per post.

%d bloggers like this: