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Duff and Phelps Take Legal Action Against Rangers FC Group

Murray Park

Rangers administrators are suing Craig Whyte’s company and his lawyers for more than £25m in damages in relation to his takeover of the club.

Duff and Phelps have launched the legal action on behalf of Rangers and confirmed it is against Rangers FC Group Ltd, the club’s parent company owned by Mr Whyte.

Rangers FC Group, formerly Wavetower, bought Sir David Murray’s 85.3% stake in Rangers for a nominal £1 last May.

It was widely publicised on Tuesday that Collyer Bristow faced the £25m claim from the administrators, but on Wednesday Duff and Phelps confirmed the action also extended to Rangers FC Group.

A Duff and Phelps spokesman said: “I can confirm that the action for damages raised in the High Court in London is against both Collyer Bristow and Rangers FC Group.”

Collyer Bristow has already described the “consequential loss” claim for in excess of £25m as “highly speculative” and confirmed it will be contesting the action “in the strongest possible terms”.

Mr Whyte’s British Virgin Islands registered company, Liberty Capital Limited, wholly owns Rangers FC Group. When it was established, the only other directors of Group were Phillip Betts – who has since resigned form his position – and Andrew Ellis, who claimed Mr Whyte had “duped” him during the takeover.

This court action launched by administrators acting on behalf of the club came after they had entered into a five-way legal battle last month over £3.6m that had been seized from a Collyer Bristow account.

HM Revenue and Customs, London ticketing agency Ticketus and two businesses connected to Mr Whyte had all laid claim to part of the cash in proceedings at the High Court in London. This is being dealt with separately from the £25m damages action.

During court proceedings last month, counsel for Duff and Phelps said they had expected to find closer to £9.5m in the legal firm’s seized account.

Former partner at Collyer Bristow Gary Withey, who helped to broker Mr Whyte’s takeover of Rangers, left the company in early March citing “family and personal reasons”.