The BOC Group has an international portfolio of companies grouped for management control and reporting into three lines of business: Process Gas Solutions, Industrial and Special Products, and BOC Edwards.


BOC adds value to a diverse range of industries and organisations world-wide: from electronics to food; from water treatment plants to chemical processes; from coating most of the world's high-performance glass to distributing food, clothes and other consumables.





An unfortunate incident has been brought to our attention involving BOC and their supposed solicitors Metcalf Johnson McCormick incorporating Brittain Grinrod of 88 Church Street Eccles Cross, Manchester, M30 0DA.


It appears that the above solicitors may not in fact be an independent firm appointed by BOC, but in fact an in house division operating for the sole purpose of exerting pressure on clients to settle bills.  Of course many companies employ firms of solicitors in respect of debt recovery.  However, in this case it appears that either BOC or Metcalf Johnson McCormick are jumping the gun with the intention of obtaining monies (fees) they are not entitled to.


In one documented case, a customer settled his bill, then about 10 days later received a summons for a court in Northampton, alleging non-payment.  The customer duly filed a defence to that effect and thought nothing more about it.  That is until he received a further bill for £48.11 in supposed legal costs.


Should this case proceed to be heard the customer will be entitled to his costs via a wasted costs Order, or just plain costs.  Since, there is no case to answer, the bill having been settled some time before BOC issued in the County Court.  


It occurs to us the both BOC and their legal team were well aware of this before issuing the bill.  To our mind this may constitute unlawful behavior and may be a subject for the monopolies commission to look into!  We await the outcome of this case ..................





Legal proceedings


Certain BOC Group companies are party to various legal proceedings. The status of these is reported in the Groupís Annual Report (click link left).  Group's Annual Report.pdf (1Mb)

Welding fume litigation: numbers of manganese cases and claimants


A US subsidiary of BOC currently is a party to a number of cases in the US alleging neurological injury through exposure to manganese in welding fumes.  The number of cases and claimants changes as new cases are filed and others get resolved or dismissed. Accordingly, the most recent available information, typically reported on an historic quarterly calendar basis, is published on this page of the website.

As of 30 June 2005, a total of approximately 11,329 plaintiffs have filed manganese cases naming The BOC Group, Inc., as a defendant. Of these, approximately 4,664 plaintiffs are in the MDL, and 17 plaintiffs are in process to be transferred to or from the MDL. In cases with multiple claimants, the MDL court has entered an order severing the claims and creating separate cases for each claimant. The MDL court has also remanded the claims of some but not all of the claimants in certain cases. Because of these processes the case count is less meaningful. BOC will therefore continue to report the number of claimants but not the number of cases.


BOCís US subsidiary believes that there are strong defences to the claims asserted in these various proceedings related to alleged injury from exposure to welding fumes. The Group has also historically purchased significant amounts of liability insurance.


BOC is not aware of any credible scientific evidence that establishes a linkage between manganese in welding fumes and neurological damage under typical welding conditions.  BOCís US subsidiary has not manufactured welding rods in the US since 1986, although it subsequently sold welding rods in the US manufactured by others until exiting that business in 2004.






Executive Management Board

John Bevan, chief executive, Process Gas Solutions


Appointed to the executive management board in June 2000. He joined BOC in 1978 as a graduate in the Australian gases business and has held various positions in general management in Australia, Korea, Thailand and the UK. He has a degree in commerce (marketing) from the University of New South Wales.


James Cullens, group human resources director


Appointed to the executive management board in April 2005. He joined BOC in July 2003 as HR Director for BOC Edwards and prior to this held a variety of senior, international HR roles in the manufacturing, retail and management consulting sectors. He has an MA in Classics from Cambridge University, as well as an MLitt in Economic History from Otago University, New Zealand and an MSc in Human Resources from Thames Valley University.

Nick Deeming, group legal director and company secretary


Appointed to the executive management board in May 2001. He has over 17 years in-house counsel experience, including Schlumberger SEMA and Axa PPP Healthcare, specialising in corporate and commercial law. He has a degree in law from Guildhall University, an MBA from Cranfield University and qualified as a solicitor in 1980.




Stephen Dempsey, group corporate relations director


Appointed to the executive management board in October, 1999. He joined BOC in 1990 as director of marketing services for the UK gases business and has held various communications roles in the Group. He has an MA in Geography from Oxford University and an MBA from Cranfield University.



Peter Dew, group information management director


Appointed to the executive management board in October,1999. He joined BOC in 1986. He has held information technology roles in the Group's businesses in South Africa, the UK, and, most recently, as information management director for the Group's businesses in Asia/Pacific.



Alan Ferguson, group finance director


Appointed an executive director in September 2005. Prior to joining BOC as group finance director he held a similar role with Inchcape plc, which he joined in 1982 having qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG. He has a business economics degree from Southampton University.



Tony Isaac, chief executive


Appointed to the executive management board in July, 1996. Appointed an executive director in October 1994 and became chief executive in May 2000. He was previously finance director of Arjo Wiggins Appleton plc, which he joined shortly before the demerger from BAT Industries p.l.c. in 1990. Prior to that he had been finance director of GEC Plessey Telecommunications Ltd since its formation in 1988. He is a non-executive director of International Power plc and Schlumberger Ltd.


J. Kent Masters, chief executive, Industrial and Special Products


Appointed to the executive management board in December 2002 and became an executive director in March 2005. He joined BOC in 1985 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in engineering, marketing and general management, most recently as president BOC process plants. He holds an engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from New York University.



Mark Nichols, group business development director


Appointed to the executive management board in January 2004. He joined BOC in February 1988 and held senior financial roles in the UK and US before moving into general management, most recently as managing director, Industrial and Special Products, East Asia. Before joining BOC he worked for Total Oil and Merck. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants



Dr. 'Raj' Rajagopal, chief executive, BOC Edwards


Appointed to the executive management board in July, 1996. He joined BOC in 1981 and has held several positions in BOC Edwards including manufacturing systems manager, director of manufacturing and managing director, being appointed chief executive in 1998. He was appointed a non-executive director of FSI International Inc in January 2001 and in June 2004 he joined the board of the business support organisation, Sussex Enterprise. He was appointed to The Council of Science and Technology in March 2004. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineers as well as the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Chartered Management Institute. He has an MSc in manufacturing technology and a PhD in mechanical engineering both from Manchester University and an honorary degree from Cranfield University received in May 2004. He was awarded the Sir Eric Mensforth Manufacturing Gold Medal in March 2003.



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Sept 19, BOC supports Hurricane Katrina relief efforts


Murray Hill, New Jersey, U.S., September 19, 2005


In the weeks since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast, BOC (NYSE:BOX), one of the world's largest industrial gases companies, is helping its employees and other victims of the terrible storm rebuild their houses, their businesses and their lives.  BOC and its employees around the world are contributing nearly $200,000 to the American Red Cross and to a special employee assistance fund to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical attention and financial help to those affected by Katrina.


"Thankfully, all of BOC's employees escaped serious injury, but many suffered substantial property damage. We continue to send our thoughts, prayers and assistance to the many victims of the storm," said Trevor Burt, president, Process Gas Solutions North America.  BOC employees also have volunteered their own time to help the stormís many victims. They have spent days and weeks assisting in cleanup efforts, caring for the people who need medical help and shelter and also helping the abandoned pets that many residents were forced to leave behind when they evacuated their homes.


"I'm very gratified by the outpouring of generosity from all of our employees, who have really stepped up to support their colleagues and friends. I also thank our employees in operations and distribution who have worked so hard to ensure the safety of their coworkers and to keep our customers supplied," Burt said.  In Louisiana, BOC operates a depot in Gonzalez, an air separation unit in Baton Rouge and several on-site oxygen and nitrogen plants. BOC also operates carbon dioxide plants in Brandon and Sand Hill, Mississippi and in Cherokee, Alabama. Those operations have returned to normal, with the exception of an on-site plant in an area near New Orleans that experienced heavy flooding.

"BOC is doing everything it can to assist other manufacturers in their efforts to repair their plants and rebuild their businesses. We are also focused on serving the many manufacturers and service providers who need to keep operating in order to serve the affected community. For example, our nationwide network of carbon dioxide plants, railcars and tanker trucks means we can get the gas to the beverage companies who are working so hard to provide safe drinks to residents and relief workers in the region," Burt said.  The BOC Group (NYSE:BOX), the world-wide industrial gases, vacuum technologies and distribution services company, serves two million customers in more than 50 countries. It employs 30,000 people and had annual sales of over $8.3 billion in 2004. Further information about 


The BOC Group may be obtained on the Internet at



Kristina Schurr
BOC corporate relations





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