From the Field
Nigerians can’t sue Shell in UK: Court
LONDON, February 15, 2018 – The Court of Appeal in London ruled Wednesday that two Nigerian communities cannot have their case against Royal Dutch Shell heard in English courts.
In a split decision, the court upheld a previous ruling that English courts do not have jurisdiction in the case against Shell subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company.
Leigh Day, the law firm representing Nigeria’s Bille and Ogale communities, said they would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will grant permission to appeal and will come to a different view,” Leigh Day partner Daniel Leader was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The Ogale and Bille communities, mainly fishermen and farmers, hope to lodge a case against the Nigerian arm of the Anglo-Dutch supermajor. The Ogale community claims that oil spills have left them without clean drinking water and useable farmland. The United Nations Environment Programme in 2011 determined that the water was indeed contaminated with benzene. The law firm negotiated a USD 84-million settlement with Shell on behalf of the Bodo community in January 2015, ending a four-year-long dispute.