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Shell smacked over libel action


Incentive Today Magazine: Shell smacked over libel action

September 1998

 The legal wrangle between John Donovan and Shell UK continues with Donovan claiming victory in the first round. Shell had tried to have a libel writ struck off and the high court ruled that Don Marketing indeed had a case following a Shell press statement which inferred that previous claims Donovan made against Shell were without merit, and the current claim is bogus.

Donovan alleges that Shell’s Smart loyalty scheme is based on proposals put forward by his company Don Marketing, and issued a High Court writ for misuse of confidential information and breach of contract in April.

In response to the writ Shell issued the press statement to Incentive Today which was printed in the May edition. Donovan immediately issued a writ for libel on the grounds that the statement implies that previous claims that he has made against Shell were without merit and that the Smart claim is bogus.

Shell attempted to have the writ struck off in a High Court hearing in July but failed and was ordered to pay costs. Shell has since issued its Defence and Counterclaim to the Smart writ and a response from Donovan is imminent. High Court hearings on either matter, however, are unlikely until next year.

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