Category Archives: English Law

Gary Withey’s Hokey-Cokey Delays Rangers Claim – Who Benefits?

The Lawyer magazine reported yesterday that Gary Withey, erstwhile Company Secretary at Rangers, and, along with Phil Betts, Craig Whyte’s right hand man, had withdrawn his application to be joined as a party to the action raised against his former firm, Collyer Bristow by the administrators of Rangers Football Club PLC, Duff & Phelps.

Collyer Bristow is accused in the action of “deliberate deception” in connection with Mr Withey’s role in the Whyte takeover. The allegations relate only to Mr Withey. The former partner in the respected London firm is alleged, for example to have been involved in providing proof of funding when there were not in fact funds present.

In August Mr Withey had applied to the court to be joined as a separate party, the case being raised only against his former firm. Mr Withey’s counsel told the court then that he wished the chance to defend himself against the allegations made about his conduct.

At the same August hearing counsel for the administrators told the court that there was a “conspiracy” to cause injury to Rangers by causing it to be taken over by Mr Whyte rather than having a share issue to raise funds and clear debt. Counsel also stated that it would be very difficult for Collyer Bristow to demonstrate that Mr Withey’s statements had been anything but false.

The defence countered saying that the claim was highly speculative, and that the case would be defended vigorously.

Mr Withey previously told the Lawyer that the accusations were an outrage, that they were groundless, and that they should never have been made. Continue reading

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Filed under Civil Law, Craig Whyte's Companies, English Law, Insolvency, Rangers

South Africa’s Tax Authorities v Dave King – Now In the High Court in London

I was looking, at the inadvertent prompting of Iain, one of the Rangers supporting commenters on the blog, at the history of Rangers rights and share issues.

I was diverted, as I often am. This time it was by a mention in the Murray International publicity about the £53 million share issue in Rangers Football Club plc in 2000 as follows:-

“Of the £32.3 million, the Murray Group is investing £9.3 million with new investment of approximately £20 million from Ben Nevis Holdings, a company associated with Dave King, a successful Scottish businessman based in South Africa.”

I have written about Mr King and his tax issues with the South African authorities before.

However a recently reported case from the Court of Chancery in England is of interest, both to tax practitioners, but also to those with an historical interest in the “fit and proper” person test in Scottish football.

The case of Revenue and Customs & Anor v Ben Nevis (Holdings) Ltd & Ors [2012] EWHC 1807 (Ch) was decided on 20 July 2012. The decision can be found here.

The case sheds an interesting light on some of Mr King’s dealings and history, and we see the vigorous defence being put up by his lawyers, no part of which is that he does not owe the money!

The Opinion details the allegations against Mr King in detail, and the remarkable fact that, as mentioned above, he invested £20 million in Rangers at a time a tax bill eleven times that size was being run up. If it was an effort at concealing funds, as I am sure it was not, then it failed – firstly because it was done in plain view and secondly because the £20 million of shares are worthless.

However, at no time did the raft of allegations against Mr King affect his position as a director of Rangers Football Club plc, nor indeed his status as a fit and proper person to be a company director.

Be warned – there is a lot of technical tax, jurisdiction and procedure stuff to follow, and the bits about Mr King are near the top. Continue reading

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Filed under Civil Law, English Law, Human Rights, Rangers, Revenue and Customs & Anor v Ben Nevis (Holdings) Ltd & Ors