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Personal Intervention of Judy Moody-Stuart In Donovan/Shell battle

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

Extracted from pages 118 & 119.

The Smart trial commenced on 15th June 1999 in Court 58 on the 7th Floor of the modern air-conditioned Thomas More Building at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

At the start of the trial the Judge, Mr. Justice Laddie QC, commented that it was one of the most unpleasant cases that had ever come before him, with both sides making extremely serious allegations against each other.

Personal Intervention of Judy Moody-Stuart

Days before the Smart trial commenced, a magazine published an article containing a reference to an extraordinary personal intervention by Judy Moody-Stuart, the Quaker wife of the Shell Chairman, Mark Moody-Stuart. (Now Sir Mark & Lady Judy Moody-Stuart).


The latest part of the claim has seen Donovan set up a website attacking Shell, he has also picketed the Shell Centre at Waterloo and disrupted the oil giant’s 100th Anniversary AGM. The latest bizarre development in the case is an intervention in the form of a letter from the wife of Mark Moody-Stuart, the head of Shell International. In her letter to Donovan, Judy Moody-Stuart pleads with Donovan to stop attacking her husband saying ‘I’ve had enough of reading your miserable destructive comments about a great group of people, Shell people, and their organisation’. She then urges Donovan to spend his time working for the charity Centrepoint before wishing him ‘good luck in coming to terms with the world.’

Her well-meaning intervention, which had a significance that will become apparent, was brought to the attention of the trial judge, Mr. Justice Laddie who was appointed to hear my case against Shell and Shell’s Counterclaim against Don Marketing, my father, and me.

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Sunday Telegraph

6 June 1999

Promotions expert claims Shell stole his Smart card idea


Pump action: John Donovan has fought Shell for six years

A BUSINESSMAN who claims Shell stole his ideas for its internationally successful Smart card promotion scheme, is this week launching a multi·million pound lawsuit against the oil company.

If John Donovan wins he stands to collect millions. If he fails he will lose everything – including his home.

The case – alleging breach of contract and misuse of confidential information – opens in the High Court on Thursday and is expected to last three weeks with costs running up to £1 million.

Mr Donovan, 52, says that Shell took his ideas – which he gave to it in confidence – and developed them without consulting or paying him.

“I want what I am entitled to and I want the world to see that Shell is not the company it claims to be in its glossy propaganda brochures,” he said.

Shell denies the allegations and is counter·claiming £100,000 for breach of a confidentiality agreement.

Richard Wiseman, its legal director, said Mr Donovan was “misguided” and had been wrongly encouraged by Shell’s previous payments.

Mr Donovan has received £60,000 and another substantial undisclosed sum in settlements from Shell after claiming the theft of other ideas.

Mr Wiseman said Mr Donovan’s expertise was no longer appropriate for the type of promotions Shell was doing.

The court case is the culmination of a six·year campaign by Mr Donovan and his father, Alfred, 82, which has seen them picket Shell’s London headquarters and buy two Shell shares each to give them access to annual general meetings.

At risk in the latest action is their detached home near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

The Donovans began devising promotion schemes in the late Sixties when Mr Donovan senior owned a chain of petrol stations in East London and Essex.

In 1981 they struck their first deal with Shell for a “Make Money” promotion scheme – in which petrol purchasers had to find two matching halves of a “bank-note”. Shell gave them £500 to help to develop the idea.

The scheme was a success and others followed: a £4.5 million Mastermind promotion; a scratch card game offering £2·5 million of food prizes from Harrods; a card game endorsed by Bruce Forsyth; and a £4’5 million Star Trek promotion.

“We were putting up ideas in confidence,” Mr Donovan said. “We both respected that. We worked exclusively with Shell on a handshake basis.” Mr Donovan’s company, Don Marketing, was paid about £50,000 for each idea plus a percentage of printing costs and other fees.

But the relationship changed in 1992 when Shell appointed a new national promotions manager, he said.

In April 1994, Mr Donovan issued a writ against Shell over the use of a “Make Money” scheme. He threatened to sue each of Shell’s 2,000 forecourt businesses.

He accepted a £60,000 settlement and continued to fight Shell over a Nintendo promotion and a film promotion called “Now Showing”.

The Donovans formed a pressure group, The Shell Corporate Conscience Pressure Group. In October 1996 Shell paid another, larger, sum to settle the outstanding claims.

In March 1997, when Shell launched the Smart loyalty card, an ambitious promotion involving companies such as Woolworth and British Airways, Mr Donovan claimed that it was almost identical to a scheme he had first proposed in 1989. He claims that the oil company took an option on it in 1990.

He also alleges that Shell used an undercover investigator, Christopher Phillips, to look into his financial affairs. Shell’s lawyers admit that they hired Mr Phillips, but only to carry out “routine credit inquiries”.

Promotions expert claims Shell stole his Smart card idea

Extracts End

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT SHELL’S EPIC 25 YEAR FEUD WITH JOHN DONOVAN – which puts the extracts in overall context.) They should be read in the context of the fact that we were besieged by undercover activity during the run-up to the SMART High Court Trial – the climax of our litigation alleging that Shell had stolen Intellectual Property from our company Don Marketing. Shell brought a Counterclaim amid a barrage of aggressive threats and sinister activity directed against us. Shell did not disclose its close connection with a private spy firm Hakluyt & Company populated by former senior MI6 officers (such as Ian Forbes McCredie and other retired or freelance spooks). As Shell CEO Ben van Beurden mentioned in an illuminating wire-tapped telephone conversation with then CFO Simon Henry, Shell hired such MI6 people including Guy Colegate and John Copleston to negotiate with Dan Etete in the corrupt OPL 245 Nigerian oil deal. Both “people” are now defendants in a criminal action brought in Italy.


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

Bombarded by threats from Shell



Shell corporate espionage

Shell Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark

Besieged by undercover activity during run-up to Shell SMART High Court Trial

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart and his family personally involved in Donovan litigation

Shell’s use of undercover agents

Shell Cloak and Dagger activities


Shell’s retired spy chief Ian Forbes McCredie CMG OBE

Deception, downright lies and broken promises by Shell

Shell spying and surveillance operations

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

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