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”.
Copy of archival information
HIGH COURT TRIAL JUNE/JULY 1999 Case No: DD04199 Court 58
John Alfred Donovan v. Shell UK Ltd
SHELL SMART MULTI-PARTNER LOYALTY CARD SCHEME
HIGH COURT TRIAL INDEX PAGE
(Modified 23 April 2018 when all references to relevant Shell executive changed to “AJL”)
Further modified 21 Oct 2020 with the green text added immediately below and further references to the same Shell executive spotted and changed to AJL)
The judge himself admitted in open court that he had lost control of the trial. The following is an extract from a transcribed comment he made to Shell’s barrister Mr Geoffrey Hobbs QC on Tuesday 29 June 1999:
MR HOBBS: Your Lordship said was there any other matter. I do not know whether your Lordship wishes to know about the open correspondence that has passed between the parties.
MR JUSTICE LADDIE: Mr Hobbs, it may come as a surprise to you but I am not running this case. That is very apparent. If you wish to make any submissions to me or bring anything to my attention that is a matter for your choice. I have decided there is no point in me making further enquiries of my own volition.