Your ref MWR/PAS/011311999
Dear Mr Rutherford,
you for your letter dated the 9 January 2001.
policy of refusing to identify which particular Group Company is
‘responding’ is further continued by your refusal to disclose who your
(Freeman’s) clients are.
In my letter of the 29th
September 1998, to Shell’s Legal Head -Richard Max Wiseman.
I requested the following information/clarification:
‘1. Who, and when, authorised Shell UK Limited, to speak on behalf of Shell Research Limited and or the Shell Group?
2. At what level was authorisation given?
3. Have you made the owners of Shell Research Limited
(Royal Dutch Petroleum Company) aware of the position. If so when, and at what level?
4. Have the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, granted you
authority to speak on their behalf concerning these matters. If so when, and at
what level was authority given?
5. I understand that Shell UK Limited is itself a
subsidiary of Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. Can you confirm that the UK parent
company-The Shell Transport and Trading Company p.l.c.-has been informed of this
matter. If so when, and at what level?
declined to answer any of the above questions outright. Neither did you reply to
my inquiries regarding Shell International Chemical Company Limited/Shell
Chemical Company Limited and the Shell Petroleum Company Limited. Instead of
answering these questions you simply state that Shell UK Limited acts in an advisory capacity for the Royal Dutch/Shell
group in the UK.’
UK Limited were (officially) conducting the Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s defence;
until Shell International Limited supplemented it in 2000- see debenture/
distancing of holding companies from Group nuclear dumping liability.
Following Shell International’s ‘introduction’ Shell’s Legal
Head’s deceptions were revealed on the 31 May 2000, I wrote:
you for your fax, and subsequent letter of 26 May 2000.
I am candidly offended and surprised to find that after eighteen months of
correspondence, numerous phone calls and faxes, you only thought it right and
proper at this very late stage to inform me that you are Shell Research
Limited’s lawyer. I quote:
‘I am responding on behalf of Shell Research Limited as its
lawyer. Shell Research Limited has
no internal lawyers of its own and the legal work (like that of all other Group
companies) is distributed amongst those lawyers employed by
Group companies having the appropriate experience and expertise it was on this
basis that Mr Sweeney and his predecessor sought advice from lawyers in Shell
As to my own
position I hope it will be sufficient
to say that on I January 1999 my employer changed from Shell U.K. Limited to
Shell International Limited. My job, however, did not change (you will also have
noted that in the mean time my address has changed).’
of your ‘surprising’ disclosure, I decided to carry out a preliminary check
I now discover that you are listed as a Director of Shell Research Limited,
making the above statement wholly incomplete and inadequate as to a full and
factual account of your position. I
further discover that you are listed as Legal Director of Shell Chemicals UK
Limited. Both Shell Research and Chemicals have, as I pointed out to you in my
letter of 29 October 1998, obtained benefit from the nuclear research programs
carried out at Thornton Research Centre, and as such are legally, and morally,
liable for the consequences of the actions of 1968. Yet, while now declaring your position as Shell Research
Limited’s lawyer, you still make no mention of fact that you are listed as a
Director of Shell Research and Legal Director of Shell UK Chemicals. Up until
now, I had assumed as Legal Head of Shell UK, that you would be a person of some
precision, propriety, and integrity. Hence, I had until now taken your stated
company position within Shell, at face value.’
the light of your failure to answer a single question, please allow me to be
candid. My contention is this; that
Shell ordered and sanctioned the ‘dumping’
of thousands of tons, let me repeat it once again so there can be no
possible misunderstanding thousands of tons of nuclear*, nuclear contaminated,
radioactive and other ‘waste’, as a deliberate act of policy. And
furthermore you employed known criminals, with a record of illegally
‘disposing’ of nuclear ‘materials’, to carry out the demolition-or to
use the more widely accepted term decommission-and subsequently, as per your
design and instructions, illegally dispose/dump the resulting ‘waste’.’
In view of Freeman’s continuing assistance in Royal Dutch/Shell’s policy of covering up its nuclear dumpings and other criminal acts, I wish to point out -The Law Society’s Guide to the Professional Conduct of Solicitors- which states:
16.02 Circumstances which override
The duty to keep
a client’s confidences can be overridden in certain
1. The duty of confidentiality does not apply to information acquired by
a solicitor where he or she is being used by the client to
facilitate the commission of a crime or fraud, because that is not within the
scope of a professional retainer. If the solicitor becomes suspicious about a client’s
activities the solicitor should normally assess the situation in the light of
the client’s explanations and the solicitor’s professional
3. A solicitor may reveal confidential information to the extent that he
or she believes necessary to prevent the client or a third
party committing a criminal act that the solicitor believes on reasonable
grounds is likely to result in serious bodily harm.
4. There may be exceptional circumstances involving children where a
solicitor should consider revealing confidential information to an appropriate
authority. This may be where the child is the client and the
child reveals information which indicates continuing sexual or other physical
abuse but refuses to allow disclosure of such information.
Similarly, there may be situations where an adult discloses abuse either by
himself or herself or by another adult against a child but refuses to allow any disclosure.
The solicitor must consider whether the threat to the child’s life or
health, both mental and physical, is sufficiently serious to justify a
breach of the duty of confidentiality.
8. Occasionally a solicitor is asked by the police or a third party to
give information or to show them documents which the solicitor has obtained when
acting for a client. Unless the client is
prepared to waive confidentiality, or where the solicitor has strong prima
facie evidence that he or she has been used by the client
to perpetrate a fraud or other crime and the duty of confidence does not arise,
the solicitor should insist upon receiving a witness summons or subpoena so
that, where appropriate, privilege may be claimed and the court asked to decide
the issue. If the request is made by the police under the Police and Criminal
Evidence Act 1984 the solicitor should, where appropriate, leave the question of
privilege to the court to decide on the particular circumstances. See also Annex
16A, p.335. Advice may be obtained from the Professional Adviser (see p.xv for
10. Certain communications from a client are not
confidential if they are a matter of public record. For example, the fact that a
solicitor has been instructed by a named client
in connection with contentious business for which that client’s
name is on the public record is not confidential, but the type
of business involved will usually be confidential.
now await your detailed client list.