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Posts under ‘Donny Ching’


Emails exchanged between senior Shell staff including John Copleston and Guy Colegate show they knew a massive payment would go to convicted money launderer and former oil minister Dan Etete.


By John Donovan

During a wiretapped telephone conversation held on 17 February 2016 between Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden and Simon Henry, his then CFO, BvB made reference to what he described as “really unhelpful emails” relating to the Shell/Eni Nigerian corruption scandal.

The call took place hours after Shell’s HQ building in The Hague was raided by authorities investigating the OPL 245 Nigerian oil deal. Two middle men have already been found guilty of involvement in the $1.3 billion corruption scandal. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Update on OPL 245 Corruption Trial and other Royal Dutch Shell News

The Premium Times report (below) on the MALABU SCANDAL mentions a Shell internal memo from Donny Ching that John Donovan recently supplied to Reuters, who confirmed its authenticity with Shell. 

MALABU SCANDAL: Shell, Eni officials’ trial continues as anti-corruption group head appears before court: Premium Times: 19 Oct 2018

National Gallery loses Shell funding after protests: The Times: 20 Oct 2018

Shell ends National Gallery sponsorship – to delight of campaigners: The Guardian: 19 Oct 2018

Shell Picks a Digital Platform to Build Its AI Future Upon: Journal of Petroleum Technology: 19 Oct 2018

Shell to invest up to $2 bln annually to explore, produce oil in Brazil through 2025 -report read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell Legal Director Donny Ching, asks staff not to speculate about first verdicts in OPL 245 corruption trials 

Shell Legal Director Donny Ching (above) effectively outlaws internal discussion among Shell staff of the first chilling verdicts in the OPL 245 trial.

It is a heavyweight ask directed at all Shell staff, effectively outlawing internal discussion of the OPL 245 litigation, when the ask in question comes from the Legal Director and board member of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Who would dare, under the circumstances, to discuss such a self-evidently taboo subject with colleagues? 


By John Donovan

Printed below is a leaked Shell internal memo sent to all Shell staff by Donny Ching, Legal Director of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

It provides proof of the understandable great sensitivity attached to the criminal trials in Milan Italy stemming from the Nigerian OPL 245 corruption scandal.

The two middlemen defendants in the fast-track OPL 245 trial cited by Mr Ching have already been found guilty and sent to jail for four years.

In his message to all Shell staff, Mr Ching asks them not to engage in speculation on the verdicts on middlemen Emeka Obi and Gianluca di Nardo and how they might relate to the trial involving Shell and four of Shell’s “former employees.” Two of them being former MI6 people hired by Shell, as confirmed by RDS CEO Ben van Beurden. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

The Disappearing $1.1 Billion Behind Shell, Eni Trial: QuickTake

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA are going to trial in Italy over bribery charges involving an oil field in Nigeria. Two things are unusual about the case. One is the sheer scale of the sum involved — $1.1 billion. The other is that the defendants include Eni’s Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi, the company’s former CEO and a former top executive at Shell. The trial begins Monday in Milan.

1. What was the $1.1 billion for?

It was paid by the companies to the Nigerian government in 2011 for a license to drill in deep waters off the Nigerian coast. The license had been in dispute for years. It had originally been awarded in 1998 by the country’s military dictator, Sani Abacha, to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd., a Lagos-based company connected to then-Petroleum Minister Dan Etete. Under successive governments, the license was canceled, awarded to Shell, and then awarded to Malabu again before the 2011 deal. Shell and Eni also paid the government about $200 million as a signature bonus — a onetime fee charged by some oil-producing nations. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell rejigs in-house team and names new UK head of legal

Alex Berry: @AlexOnLegalWeek: 04 September 2017

Shell has overhauled its UK legal team, appointing Sarah Morton as its new UK head of legal, replacing Michael Coates in the role. Morton, who is also now associate GC for Shell’s downstream northwest Europe business, takes up her new role after nearly six years as Shell’s managing counsel for global litigation for Europe, Middle East & North Africa. In this role she built and managed a team of lawyers, recruiting from both inside and outside of Shell. Coates has taken up a new position as associate general counsel for Shell’s global upstream business after four years as UK head of legal. READ MORE read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell false pledges of transparency and openness

By John Donovan

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden says that he believes in the fundamental importance of openness by Shell. This echo’s comments made previously by Jorma Ollila when he was Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He said in a speech at the 2014 AGM “Shell believes in transparency and your board has high levels of commitment to this.”

Unfortunately Shell senior management deeds do not, in practice, match their lofty words.

On 22 May I wrote to Shell Legal Director Donny Ching asking him to instruct Shell US lawyers Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, to release for use in the Dutch courts over 100,000 items of evidence gathered by Shell internally in relation to its past conduct in Nigeria. Alleged human rights abuses, including alleged complicity in the murder of Ogoni leaders. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Outspoken articles about Shell Jan 2017 onwards and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Is Donny Ching all talk on Shell ethics?

If Shell is innocent of the allegations made by Ether Kiobel what is there to hide?


Dear Mr Ching

You laid it on thick about Shell ethics and principles in your impressive speech: “FOLLOWING THE NORTH STAR: NAVIGATING COMPANIES TOWARDS A GOOD REPUTATION”


Nowadays, reputation is harder to win. And much easier to lose. In this context it is not enough to simply say: “Trust us.” Trust. Reputation. These are not simply messages to be broadcast. They are the outcomes that result from consistently ethical behaviour. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan


Bill Campbell comments on OPL 245 Statement by Shell Legal Director Donny Ching

Chronology is important is it not!

The international law firm reported to the RDS board in July 2016 but the emails confirming Shell knew money was going to individuals was not exposed till April 2017 a year later and was confirmed by the statement from the Shell spokesman to be an accepted fact in his 10th April 2017 press statement.

So did the international law firm who we are to assume gave a positive message to the Board have no knowledge of these emails in 2016?

Ching seems to be living in the world of alternative facts, his statements in the article above that Shell had no visibility into all this and payments were made without their prior knowledge or authorisation by Shell totally contradicts what RDS has already admitted on record in April this year. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Donny Ching spin on Shell support for South African apartheid

By John Donovan

How much respect should we have for Shell Legal Director Donny Ching bearing in mind his attempt to rewrite the history of Shell’s shameful support for the dreadful apartheid regime in South Africa. Perhaps he is just ignorant about the facts. Mr Ching has given an account from his personal perspective as a student at Melbourne University nearly three decades ago. 

This is what he has said on the record:

At that time in Australia, and it was the same all over the world, there was a huge wave of protests about apartheid in South Africa. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan


I would like to share with you the history of Shell’s involvement in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 offshore Nigeria. There has been a lot of media coverage recently on OPL 245 but the focus has been on the 2011 settlement and not the history and events leading up to the settlement. I will take you through a summary of facts and events relating to Shell’s involvement. Given that this matter is currently under investigation by various authorities, I will not comment on the specifics and regret that I cannot answer any questions on this today. However, I hope the information I share will help to clarify why certain Shell companies entered into the 2011 settlement and why we believe there has been no inappropriate conduct by any Shell company or its staff in this matter. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan



How fortunate that Shell has not got itself mired in any murky activity. e.g. paying hundreds of millions to a Nigerian crook, putting profits before safety with induced earthquakes in The Netherlands, terrorising safety staff in Norway, spying globally on its own employees, or engaging in widespread bribery and corruption in Ireland. None of that could possibly happen. Same applies to the oil and gas reserves fraud, which Donny Ching, to his credit, has not forgotten

The following information is taken directly from Shell’s Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2016

From page 14

An erosion of our business reputation could have a material adverse effect on our brand, our ability to secure new resources and our licence to operate. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell’s Legal Offshoring a Sign of Things to Come

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Facing an era of lower oil prices, Shell announced plans on June 7 to cut company costs and become more efficient…

Sue Reisinger, Corporate Counsel: June 10, 2016

The announcement by Royal Dutch Shell that it plans to open an offshore legal operations center illustrates a growing trend, according to industry experts.

Facing an era of lower oil prices, Shell announced plans on June 7 to cut company costs and become more efficient. Part of those plans includes opening an offshore legal center, as have a few other companies and several major law firms. Shell legal director Donny Ching told the Law Society Gazette in London that the move would relate to “some specific parts of our work where it makes sense to consolidate services, increase efficiencies and reduce costs.” read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell Starts Scouting for a New Legal Ops Center

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31 May 2016

After several global law firms made moves to consolidate legal staff abroad, Royal Dutch Shell is following suit.

The company is scouting possible locations and considering headcount numbers for a new offshore legal operations center, according to reports in the U.K. legal press.

Per Legal Business, the company’s legal director Donny Ching is leading the charge and plans to scope out geographies and come up with a plan by the fall.

The office is expected to house both lawyers and non-lawyers focusing on back-office functions as well as traditional legal work around contracts. For now, Ching is keeping his mind open about the fine details. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Offshoring goes in-house: Shell to launch external legal centre to service global operations

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Shell’s legal team has previously sent specific parts of its work to dedicated centres in cheaper locations.

by Kathryn McCann: 31 May 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is preparing to open its own offshore legal centre to service the oil giant’s global operations.

A projects team, reporting to the company’s legal director Donny Ching (pictured), is currently scouting possible locations and considering headcount numbers for the centre, with a brief to come back by autumn.

A mixture of non-qualified and qualified lawyers will be doing more high-end work as well as the traditional back office work which is more typically suited to offshore centres. Potential locations for the centre will ultimately depend on whether Shell can recruit the right quality people in a particular area. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Where is my defamation writ from Edward Heerema, Allseas son of Pieter Schelte?

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 19.09.50By John Donovan

Despite my forthright comments about Edward Heerema (the owner of the multibillion dollar ship Pieter Schelte), describing him a sinister individual who engages in shady financial machinations, I have not yet received a defamation writ.

Threats yes, but no writ. 

Edward Heerema is one of the squabbling sons of Pieter Schelte Heerema, the offshore pioneer and former German Waffen SS officer/war criminal. 

It could be because Allseas does not have my address, in which case they only need to ask me for it. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan
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