Mr Whyte is someone who, since his takeover of Rangers, has not been a stranger to the company of litigation lawyers. Whether these have been instructed in connection with debt actions against his companies, or with a view to raising actions against the BBC, both he and Rangers will have spent a considerable sum on the legal profession.
Today’s court lists disclose another case having its “Calling Date” today at the Court of Session. This is a formal step at the start of a court action, once it has been confirmed that it is going to be defended.
Case number 30 on the list is that of “Kim Lauren Martin or Whyte … Grantown on Spey AG Craig Thomas Whyte, Castle Grant, Grantown on Spey”.
BTO Solicitors act for Mrs Whyte.
Whilst the court lists are public, I see no need to publish Mrs Whyte’s full address on my site. Mr Whyte’s however is well known.
The list does not disclose the nature of the case, but the most likely assumption is that it is a divorce action. If so, there may well be a claim by Mrs Whyte for a share of Mr Whyte’s assets.
If this is a divorce action, and it is defended, it may be some considerable time before the matter is resolved. Potentially of course it could impact on Rangers, if Mr Whyte reaches an agreement with his wife, or is ordered to make a significant payment to her.
In recent times in the USA both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres baseball teams have had to be sold as a result of their principal owner divorcing. In fact, in the Dodgers’ case, it was worse as both Mr and Mrs McCourt were in charge of the organisation, and issues of which one of them owned the team were dragged through the courts, leading ultimately to one of the most famous names in world sport having to enter bankruptcy.
Mrs Whyte’s lawyers would be entitled to seek disclosure of Mr Whyte’s substantial assets in order that a court could determine what sum, if any, should be paid to her.
In addition, as Mrs Whyte was a director of Tixway UK Ltd, prior to Mr Whyte’s disqualification from being a company director being served, she will have knowledge of some of his business arrangements. Tixway UK Ltd is of course itself involved in a court action just now as well.
Whilst it was known that the couple had been estranged for some time, the fact that this action must have been raised just before Christmas perhaps explains why Mr Whyte may have had his eye off the ball as regards the obligations on him and Rangers as regards submission of accounts and the holding of an AGM.
At the very least this would likely be a huge distraction, even if only as regards having to consult solicitors and counsel.
One hopes that, at a time which will clearly be very trying for both parties, the media show more restraint than they did when recently covering the separation of underwear tycoon Michelle Mone and her husband.