Nigerians cannot pursue Shell spill claim in England – London Appeal Court

London Court of Appeal has ruled that Nigerians cannot pursue Shell oil spill case in England

The Court of Appeal in London ruled on Wednesday that two Nigerian communities cannot pursue Royal Dutch Shell in English courts over oil spills in Nigeria’s Delta region.

The split decision upheld a High Court ruling last year that was a setback to attempts to hold British multinationals liable at home for their subsidiaries’ actions abroad.

The court rejected the appeal from law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Nigeria’s Bille and Ogale communities, and upheld a ruling that English courts do not have jurisdiction over claims against Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

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SPDC is jointly operated with the Nigerian government.

Shell said the court “rightly upheld” the earlier ruling, and said Nigeria’s “well-developed justice system” was the correct place for the claims.

Leigh Day said the two Nigerian communities intended to bring the case to Britain’s 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 said.

Shell is Nigeria’s oldest energy company, and has a long term and continuing commitment to the country, its people and the economy, the company’s websites read.

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies with an average of 93,000 employees in more than 70 countries.

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