Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

American Ballet Theatre Bizarre Pas de deux with British Spy Firm, Hakluyt & Co

By John Donovan

I wonder if the American Ballet Theatre is aware of the sinister background of its new benefactor, Hakluyt & Co – the corporate intelligence agency sometimes described as the commercial offshoot of MI6.

Titled Shell directors, the late Sir Peter Holmes, and Sir William Purves, were also directors, major shareholders and spymasters of Hakluyt & Company, a UK corporate espionage firm founded by former senior MI6 officers. BP directors were also involved. 

Shell used Hakluyt to engage in cloak and dagger operations against its perceived enemies, including Greenpeace, as exposed in a Sunday Times front-page lead article “MI6 ‘firm’ spied on green groups”. Continuing on to an inside page feature headlined “How agent Camus sunk Greenpeace oil protests”. 

The same undercover agent – a serving secret service agent – was also active on Shell’s behalf in Nigeria in relation to Ken Saro-Wiwa, one of the nine innocent Ogonis hanged by the evil Nigerian military regime that was in bed with Shell.

Related litigation – Esther Kiobel vs Shell – is underway in the Netherlands (though delayed by Covid-19).

Shell was and remains an important client/associate of Hakluyt & Co. The last time I was in contacted with the head of Shell Global Security, I received an automated response supplying his Hakluyt email address.

There is more information in this Guardian article – Former head of GCHQ advising Shell and private intelligence firm -about the close links between British Intelligence, Hakluyt and Shell.

As a target of Shell spying operations, which led to some bizarre correspondence with the founding Managing Director of Hakluyt & Co involving it’s then top lawyer Sir Anthony Hammond QC., I remain interested in the spy firms activities.

Why would The American Ballet Theatre enter into a “partnership” involving “support” from such a sinister organisation closely associated with global polluters, Shell and BP; both targets of protests against sponsorship of the arts.

Hakluyt Collaborates with American Ballet Theatre


Jun 22, 2020, 03:00 ET

LONDONJune 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Hakluyt is delighted to announce a new collaboration with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Hakluyt will be advising ABT on a range of issues, including its response to the global coronavirus pandemic, its international education programmes, and its future touring plans.

This is the latest development in the company’s longstanding support for cultural institutions, including the British Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Opera House.

Varun Chandra, Hakluyt’s managing partner, said: “Now, more than ever, the world needs strong cultural institutions that will sustain and enrich communities around the world. Hakluyt is committed to supporting the valuable work of organisations such as American Ballet Theatre, and we look forward to working with their team as they strive to create, present, preserve, and extend the influence of classical dance.”

Keith Lieberthal, an executive in Hakluyt’s New York office, has become a founding member of the ABT Global Council. He will serve as one of a number of leaders in business, philanthropy and the arts who have been asked to help shape the future of America’s National Ballet Company.

Kara Medoff Barnett, the executive director of ABT, commented: “ABT has performed in 45 countries and in all 50 US states since the company’s founding in 1940. As we celebrate eight decades of excellence, we are very grateful for Hakluyt’s support as we chart our future course, and we look forward to a strong and enduring partnership with the company in the years to come.”

Notes to editors

Hakluyt is a strategic advisory firm that works with corporate leaders and investors around the world on their most important commercial issues.

Keith Lieberthal joined Hakluyt in 2019. Before then, he led global engagement at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He was previously director of strategy for the Wall Street research firm, Guidepoint, general counsel at Tommy Hilfiger, an associate at Covington & Burling LLP, and at Bain & Co. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

For more information on Hakluyt, please visit

For more information on American Ballet Theatre, please visit

SOURCE Hakluyt & Co.

Related Links

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.