Titled Shell directors, the late Sir Peter Holmes, and Sir William Purves were also directors, major shareholders and the spymasters of Hakluyt & Company, a UK corporate espionage firm founded by former senior MI6 officers. 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.” It led to a follow-on inside page headlined “How agent Camus sunk Greenpeace oil protests”.
We suspended our website don-marketing.com before the Smart trial commenced in June 1999.
The trial actually 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.
HIGH COURT TRIAL JUNE/JULY 1999 Case No: DD04199 Court 58 John Alfred Donovan v. Shell UK Ltd
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.
Mirror Image of archival information relating to the Don Marketing / Shell litigation dating back over two decades
RICHARD WISEMAN, RETIRED ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC CHIEF ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE OFFICER. FORMERLY LEGAL DIRECTOR OF SHELL UK LIMITED. MR WISEMAN DEALT WITH THE JOHN DONOVAN/ DON MARKETING vs. SHELL LITIGATION ON BEHALF OF SHELL.
THREATS AND INTIMIDATION BY SHELL DURING PERIOD WISEMAN IN CHARGE OF SHELL UK DEFENCE
Letter from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman (AKA Kendall Freeman) challenging John Donovan to substantiate allegations about “Shell UK and its lawyers” having “bombarded my company and my family with threats over the years (verbally and in writing.” : 21 May 1998
1ST EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS
Flawed Shell Make Money Game
2ND EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS
3RD EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS
High-level April 1998 correspondence with Shell involving Richard Wiseman (see letter from Jyoti Munsiff – 6 April 1998
Reply letter from John Donovan to Mark Moody-Stuart: 14 April 1998
“Yet you are not prepared for the same information to be supplied, even on a confidential basis, to the people who actually own the company – your shareholders. Your decision to keep company members in the dark speaks absolute volumes. So much for the core principle of “openness”. When it comes to the crunch, covering-up a catalogue of misdeeds by Shell managers, despite incontrovertible evidence of flagrant breaches of the principles of honesty and integrity, apparently takes priority.”
Link to “Unloveable Shell, the goddess of oil” Guardian article mentioned in the correspondence (takes time to load but well worth the wait)
UNDERCOVER ACTIVITY AGAINST THE DONOVAN’S IN THE PERIOD WISEMAN IN CHARGE OF DEFENCE CASE
A number of sinister characters suddenly came on the scene in a short period of time, including an American gentleman who arrived from overseas and tracked down and interviewed our key witnesses, falsely claiming to be a journalist for The European newspaper. Another undercover agent under the name of Christopher Phillips had been caught red-handed illegally opening private mail at our offices. The homes of our solicitor, a key witness and our own home were all burglarised in the run up to the Smart Trial and related documents examined. Shell denied any association with the burglaries and the intimidation of our witnesses.
Copies of a selection of relevant self-explanatory correspondence published below.
Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors, DJ Freeman: 16 June 1998
John Donovan letter to Richard Wiseman: 23 June 1998
Richard Wiseman letter to John Donovan: 24 June 1998
Richard Wiseman letter to John Donovan: 1 July 1998
If, nevertheless, the police wish to obtain any further information from my clients or from anyone involved in enquiries on their behalf, including Mr Phillips, then, as has been said on several previous occasions, the fullest of co-operation will be given.
Letter from Richard Wiseman to John Donovan: 9 July 1998
The activities of Mr Phillips have, of course, been admitted.
Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman: 11 August 1998(confirms internal investigation by Shell)
Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman: 26 October 1998 (Confirms an internal investigation by Shell)
DEFENDING THE COMPANY’S GOOD NAME AND REPUTATION: Richard Wiseman article in OPDirect Magazine: November 1998
FUEL FOR THOUGHT
DEFENDING THE COMPANY’S GOOD NAME AND REPUTATION
There has recently been some publicity surrounding a writ issued against Shell UK by Mr John Donovan, director of a company called Don Marketing, who claims that his company invented the SMART loyalty programme and that he or his company should be compensated for its use. Shell UK is strongly defending the claim, having carefully investigated and discussed it with Mr Donovan and his solicitors. Mr Donovan has been making a number of unpleasant allegations in public and in the press, and has been handing out leaflets to staff.
Some Don Marketing Games from the 1980s
COPY OF INFORMATION PUBLISHED ON Don-Marketing.com and “Images File” webpage (with more images added in 2020)
An article published by Prospect Magazine in February 2007 authored by Derek Brower, senior correspondent of Petroleum Economist, provides an overall background to the disputes between Royal Dutch Shell and Alfred Donovan and his son, John.
Picture of John Chambers and John DonovanJohn Donovan (right) and John Chambers at Don Marketing Hornchurch offices in 1984 For more photos see Don Marketing Photo File donmarketingphotofile.html
Don Marketing was founded by Alfred Donovan, Bob Donovan, John Donovan and their fondly remembered friend and business partner, chartered accountant, Don Redhead (deceased). Alfred, Bob and John are all retired from commercial activity. John Chambers was managing director during the most successful years of Don Marketing which, following a series of court actions with Shell, ceased trading some years ago.