Royal Dutch Shell and Eni Acquitted in an Italian Corruption Case Regarding the OPL-245 Project in Nigeria

March 24, 2021

Delfino e Associati Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP led the defense of Royal Dutch Shell defendants in the Milan proceedings, obtaining acquittal from the corruption charges for the "OPL-245" oil concession in Nigeria.

The Milan court has acquitted energy groups Eni and Shell and 13 individuals of $1.1 billion corruption charges related to the 2011 acquisition of OPL-245, a Nigerian offshore oil prospecting licence.

On behalf of a panel of three judges, chief judge Marco Tremolada said the companies and 13 defendants charged in the case had been acquitted as there was no case to answer.

At the end of a trial lasted over two years, the judges in Milan cleared Eni and Shell, four Shell former employees, five Eni managers and former managers including CEO Claudio Descalzi and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni, former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete, and some advisers.

Delfino e Associati Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, with a team led by partners Bruno Cova and Francesca Petronio, led the defense of Shell together with Studio Mucciarelli partners Francesco Mucciarelli and Luisa Mazzola. Bruno Cova and Francesco Mucciarelli acted as co-counsel for Royal Dutch Shell. Marco Calleri and Andrea Rossetti represented former executive director of Shell Malcolm Brinded; Giuseppe Bianchi represented former managers Guy Colegate and John Copleston, while former manager Peter Robinson was represented by Chiara Padovani.