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Bombarded by threats from Shell

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

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

Extracts from pages 53, 54 & 55

Shell Legal Director Richard Wiseman “personally” kept senior Shell directors informed of progress in the SMART case.

This included the then Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman, Mr. Cor Herkstroter and two titled Shell Transport directors. Namely, Sir William Purves and Sir Peter Holmes (now deceased) – a former Group Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. The significance of the two latter names will become apparent.

Shell’s machinations during the run-up to the SMART trial (the breach of confidence case), destroyed any prospect of a fair trial.


Shell buried evidence in a mountain of mainly irrelevant documentation. Furthermore, due to incompetence or design, Shell delayed until days before the trial, the supply of vitally important handwritten discovery material – the diaries of AJL. Other relevant items only came to light years later, when I made an application to Shell under the UK Data Protection Act. For example, the aforementioned article by Richard Wiseman published in a Shell internal magazine.

The Judge never had sight or knowledge of this materially important activity by Shell.

Shell’s lawyer Colin Joseph (left), the then senior partner of a London law firm DJ Freeman, asked me to substantiate my claim, made in my letter published by Marketing Week magazine, that my family had been bombarded by threats. I supplied a 7-page letter listing the threats up to that point.

A brief extract is shown in the oblong box.


However, worse was to come when Shell resorted to corporate espionage.


Because of sinister threats and associated events, including a series of highly suspicious burglaries in the run up to the Smart High Court trial, which commenced in June 1999, Mr. Wiseman felt it appropriate to provide the following assurance on behalf of Shell in a faxed letter dated 9 July 1996 (link to the whole letter):


Neither you, your family, nor any potential witness, has any cause for physical fear as a result of your prosecuting this case with all the vigour we have come to expect.

The mere fact that a Shell director had felt that he should make such an assurance was itself somewhat disconcerting.

Apart from Police investigations, at one point, because of apparent anxiety in some quarters at Shell about the cloak and dagger activity, Shell held an internal investigation.

Colin Joseph confirmed in a letter dated 26 October 1998, that an internal investigation had taken place at Shell. The results were not shared with us.

The feint-hearted might decide to back off in the face of such sinister developments, irrespective of the merits of a claim or grievance. The threats and sinister events had a reverse effect on my family and me.

Since there were two distinct bouts of espionage activity, I have divided the relevant information into two parts: (1) “Shell corporate espionage in the run-up to the Smart trial” and (2) “Shell corporate espionage in more recent years” – covered in a later chapter.

My account of what occurred during the litigation years is based on my own memory of events, together with contemporaneous correspondence, documents, published news articles, and an extensive draft article prepared at the time by a journalist representing the Guardian newspaper, Mr. Simon Rines.

Extracts from the John Donovan ebook end.


While the dramatic cross-examination of Shell executive AJL was in progress and reaching a climax, Shell suddenly settled the high court litigation brought by John Donovan in relation to SHELL SMART and related libel actions. Shell paid all legal costs said to be over £1 million pounds and John Donovan received a secret payment as part of the settlement, the full terms of which were deliberately withheld by Shell from the Judge, the late Mr Justice Laddie. The judge made comments at the end of the trial unaware of the full terms of settlement, a fact later confirmed to John Donovan in writing by Shell Legal Director Richard Wiseman, now retired. The comments made by the judge later triggered a repudiation of the settlement by Shell.


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

Shell in legal row over Smart Card

Defamatory Posters on Display at Shell HQ


399 Former Shell Malaysia Employees Sued Shell for Misappropriation of Retirement Funds

Don Marketing posts legal warning about Shell

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

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