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15 Feb 2018

Leigh Day

Nigerian villagers vow to take Shell to the UK Supreme Court

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Nigerian villagers plan to take Shell to the Supreme Court, after the Court of Appeal rejected their appeal against an earlier High Court ruling which held that there was no case against the English parent company. The 40,000 Nigerian farmers...have taken their case to the English Courts on the basis that Royal Dutch Shell (RDS), with its headquarters in London, controlled and directed Shell Nigeria, a subsidiary of RDS. In January 2017, the High Court ruled that the claim against RDS had no prospect of success and, therefore, that the claim against Shell Nigeria could not proceed...The Claimants appealed this decision and the appeal was heard in November 2017. The Court of Appeal has today handed down its judgment from that hearing and, in a split decision, it has upheld the finding that the English Court does not have jurisdiction over the claims....Daniel Leader, a partner at Leigh Day, commented that: “This is a surprising judgment which leaves these two communities in a desperate position and permits Shell to continue to operate with impunity in Nigeria. “It sends the wrong message to multinational corporations around the world. The Dutch Court of Appeal reached the opposite view on precisely the same point. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will grant permission to appeal and will come to a different view.”