In October 1996, I received an unsolicited letter of apology from Shell Chairman Dr. Chris Fay for the way we were treated by Shell. His letter arrived after Shell had already settled out of court with us for four High Court actions and one County Court case. As can be seen, the tone of the letter not meant for public consumption was totally at odds with press releases issued by Shell before and after his letter. The tone of the apology letter from Dr Fay (shown immediately below) was totally at odds with press releases and statements published or distributed to third parties by Shell before and after his letter. Examples are displayed. It is therefore difficult to avoid the conclusion that the apology letter was disingenuous.
The press statement issued by Shell 17 March 1995, the year before the apology letter.
Press release issued by Shell 14 April 1998.
Press release issued by Shell 21 April 1998.
2-page letter dated 25 April 1998 sent by Shell to partners in the SMART multi-partner loyalty card scheme.
Letter dated 27 April 1998 sent by Shell UK Limited to all Shell retailers in the UK.
Press release by Shell in November 1998.
Article authored by Shell Legal Director Richard Wiseman and published by Shell in November 1998.
This was a crucial piece of evidence Shell withheld from Mr Justice Laddie QC, the High Court Judge in the Smart trial, which took place several months later.
Ironically, Mr Wiseman was later appointed as the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
A few months later Mr Wiseman was engaged in mysterious correspondence with the editor of Time Magazine about me.
The letter from the editor was sent in response to a SAR application we made to Shell.
We were not given sight of the letter from Mr Wiseman that triggered the hostile reply asking for an apology.
I have no idea what Mr Wiseman was worked up about.
Perhaps he was becoming paranoid about me by that stage.
Again, ironic, bearing in mind that I believe he was behind the letter of apology I received from his boss, Dr Fay.