The Crown Office’s legal team has made a last-minute concession over the amount of compensation which will be awarded to Rangers FC administrators.
David Whitehouse and Paul Clark are seeking £14 million in damages over alleged wrongful detention, arrest and prosecution by the Crown and Police Scotland.
On Friday, the Lord Advocate’s lawyer, Gerry Moynihan QC, told Lord Tyre at the Outer House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh that causation would not affect how much the men would receive as he had previously admitted they should not have had legal proceedings brought against them.
He told the hearing that was held remotely: “I have today – and I mean today – received instructions on an issue that the Dean of Faculty raised on the last occasion, which is the question of causation.
“In particular, whether dividing the first petition from the second petition and the indictments has any impact on the quantification of damages.
“My instructions are that it will not impact on the quantification of damages.
“The pursuers, both Mr Clarke and Mr Whitehouse, will be compensated on the basis of what I have already accepted – that they should not have been prosecuted at all.
“That is something I have only told my learned friends in the minutes before your lordship came on to this.
“It will obviously have an impact on the duration – particularly of a six-week proof.”
He then apologised for the matter having arisen at such a late stage.
Lord Tyre asked Mr Moynihan to set out the concession in detail, and set a further procedural hearing for Tuesday September 29.
Mr Whitehouse’s lawyer, Roddy Dunlop QC, told the court “we should be careful not to allow the significance of what’s been said to be missed” in relation to Mr Moynihan’s admission.
He added: “What we have this morning is a further concession, if I’m understanding the effect thereof correctly, meaning that the Crown accepts responsibility for their liability for the consequences of the prosecution against these gentlemen.”
It was heard that he had been made aware of the change in position “half an hour” before speaking in court.
Iain Ferguson QC, Mr Clark’s lawyer, told the hearing that he welcomed the concession.
The advocate for Police Scotland, Alastair Duncan QC, said it appeared there was now a “short and discrete” case against his client in relation to detention since Mr Moynihan’s admission.
The two men were appointed joint administrators of Rangers in February 2012.
Lord Tyre continued the matter until the further procedural hearing next, with a full hearing in the matter scheduled to take place in January 2021.