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Possible New Evidence in Okpabi v Shell Supreme Court Litigation

Related Lawyers: Tom Bolster, Ami Ndukwe, Antonio Delussu
Related Practice Areas: Human Rights and Environmental Disputes

On 22nd of May 2020, Hausfeld’s client Corner House Research (CHR) has been granted permission to intervene in writing ahead of the Okpabi v Shell Supreme Court hearing on 23 June 2020.

Corner House Research is a not-for-profit organisation which supports democratic and community movements around the world and promotes corporate accountability on environmental and social justice issues.

The Ogale and the Bille Community - two Nigerian communities and the Claimants in Okpabi - claim to have suffered from the prolonged oil pollution caused by Shell’s operations in their territories and are seeking justice in England against Shell’s head company, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS), headquartered in London. Okpabi is now being fought all the way to the Supreme Court, with RDS claiming that it did not exercise any control over the Nigerian subsidiary responsible for environmental damage, and so the English Courts have no jurisdiction to rule on the case.

Corner House is bringing new evidence to the Supreme Court’s attention on the issue of corporate control. Having been mired in disputes around the world, Shell is facing charges of bribery and corruption in relation to its activities. Corner House identified documents in one set of such proceedings in Italy which may assist the Claimants in Okpabi to show that RDS controlled - and was ultimately responsible - for its Nigerian subsidiary’s activities.

Hausfeld is acting for Corner House Research on a pro bono basis, as is Ben Jaffey QC of Blackstone Chambers.

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