THE CROWN Office has paid compensation estimated at £80,000 to a former Rangers administrator over the granting of a restraint order over his assets which Scotland 's chief legal officer admitted was "wrongful".

David Whitehouse, 52, of Duff and Phelps and his wife Lisa had been seeking to claim a total of £180,000 damages in the case against the Lord Advocate over the order in connection with the failed attempts to prosecute anyone in relation to alleged fraud over the purchase of the club in May, 2011.

The couple had claimed Scottish prosecutors acted inappropriately during a police probe into the Glasgow club's financial affairs in 2014.

The damages case was due to go to the Court of Session tomorrow but it is understood that the Crown Office and the Whitehouses have agreed a settlement which, including costs, is believed to be over £180,000. The compensation payment is estimated to be £80,000.


Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC

The Whitehouses had said that the granting of a restraint order in connection with the Rangers fraud case, which was eventually reversed, led to a loss in a particular investment opportunity, issues with making financial transactons and that they suffered a "loss of reputation, anxiety and distress".

READ MORE: Call for government review after judges say prosecutors "abused state power" over Rangers fraud case raid

A judgment by Lord Brodie over the release of papers involved in the case, revealed that the Lord Advocate admitted that actions in applying for the restraint order against the Whitehouses in December, 2015 were "wrongful in the respect of a failure to discharge the duty of disclosure and candour as found by the judge when recalling the order". The Lord Advocate at the time was Lord Mulholland.


David Whitehouse was one of the administrators who organised a sale of Rangers assets to a consortium headed by businessman Charles Green.

Lord Glennie, one of Scotland's senior judges reversed the granting by Lord Clarke of a Proceeds of Crime restraint order over the assets of Mr Whitehouse and his wife four years ago.

In his ruling, Lord Glennie said the court were previously not told that there had been a period of 13 months of suspicion-free activity while Mr Whitehouse, who was Manchester-based managing director with Duff and Phelps,  was subject of the Rangers fraud investigation.

He said the Crown were responsible for "a clear and very serious breach of the duty of disclosure and candour" in getting the restraint order.

Mr Whitehouse had claimed the order was granted based on "grossly misleading and false information and representations made to the court".

READ MORE: Scotland's chief law officer admits "wrongful" restraint order over former Rangers administrator

Mr Whitehouse would not discuss the amount of the settlement. In a statement he said: "Whilst I am delighted to now put this matter behind me, I am equally disappointed not to have the opportunity to expose the full facts surrounding the Crown's conduct at a trial which was due to commence on Tuesday.


Lord Glennie

"This matter has cost the public hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayer money. I believe it would be scandalous if the Scottish Parliament did not hold the Lord Advocate to account for the manner in which this matter has been handled.

"I very much hope lessons will be learned from the injustice that I have faced so that the same cannot happen to anyone else."

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The Crown has accepted Lord Glennie’s judgment in relation to this restraint order and has agreed to make a payment in compensation to the pursuers.”

READ MORE: Lawyers for former Rangers administrators pursue damages claim over 'unlawful' warrant in fraud case raid

The Lord Glennie judgment came two years before former Rangers owner Craig Whyte, who was the last man standing in the fraud conspiracy case, was acquitted of taking over the club by fraud at the end of a seven-week trial in June, 2017.


The restraint order case formed part of an ongoing multi-million claim by ex-Rangers administrators Mr Whitehouse and Paul Clark (above) over wrongful detention over allegations of fraud.

Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark from Duff and Phelps faced criminal proceedings in the wake of Mr Whyte's purchase of Rangers from Sir David Murray for a £1 and its subsequent sale before a judge dismissed the charges.

Lord Brodie's May judgment described an "unusual action" which saw Mr Whitehouse and his wife Lisa sue the current Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC for damages on the basis there was an 'ex parte' restraint application for the restraint order based on false allegations.

READ MORE: Police Scotland were hit for £130,000 costs in August, in a separate strand to ex-Rangers administrator David Whitehouse's legal fight over failed fraud arrests

Mr and Mrs Whitehouse aimed to prove that claims in the restraint order petition "were entirely unsupported by evidence" and that prosecutors had evidence in their possession that undermined their case.

"Remarkable as these averments may be thought to be, equally remarkable is the fact that the defender (the Lord Advocate) effectively admits them," said Lord Brodie.


Craig Whyte bought Rangers from  Sir David Murray for £1 in 2011.

The Crown Office had claimed Mr Whitehouse had benefitted from the proceeds of crime having been paid personally £3.1m for the administration, and that he had had a share of the proceeds of MCR, a UK-based restructuring and turnaround firm which was bought over by Duff and Phelps, which had advised Mr Whyte on his controversial takeover.

One of the key tenets of the Crown case was Mr Whyte's scheme in advance of the takeover, to sell off rights to three years of future season tickets to investment firm Ticketus in a bid to raise £24 million and pay off debt as part of a share purchase agreement with Sir David Murray.

READ MORE: Lawyers for former Rangers administrators pursue damages claim over 'unlawful' warrant in fraud case raid

Lord Glennie in his judgment had said he had been shown documents by Mr Whitehouse's QC that make it clear administration fees were paid to his employer Duff and Phelps.

"It does not matter whether the Crown accept that," he said. "It seems likely the Crown knew that could be the contention advanced by David Whitehouse. Even if the Crown did not know that, it would not have taken much to ask internally what the position was, and to set out in the petition what the defence position might be. That is simply not good enough."

He said the same criticism applied over claims made over the MCR sale.

The Lord Glennie ruling criticising the Crown Office came a matter of months before legal firm Holman Fenwick Willan was awarded £500,000 costs after police and prosecutors were found by the High Court in London to have "abused state powers" by carrying out an illegal raid and seizing privileged documents in connection with the failed Rangers fraud case.

The Crown Office did not respond to questions about the payout.