Freemanreply 12
Home Up Freemanreply 13


Marcus Rutherford                                                                                  

D J Freeman

43 Fetter Lane

London EC4A 1JU.


18 January 2001

Your ref   MWR/PAS/011311999

Dear Mr Rutherford,

Thank you for your letter dated the 9 January 2001.

Shell’s 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? 

You (Shell’s Legal Head) 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.’ 

Shell 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:

‘Dear Mr Wiseman,

 Thank you for your fax, and subsequent letter of 26 May 2000.  

First, 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 U.K. Limited. 

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).’ 

Because 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.’  

In 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 confidentiality

The duty to keep a client’s confidences can be overridden in certain exceptional circumstances.

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 judgement.

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 contact details).

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.

I now await your detailed client list.

Yours sincerely.


John Dyer.