THE Crown Office has dismissed claims that Scotland's Solicitor General should have nothing more to do with cases surrounding malicious Rangers fraud case prosecutions because of claims of a conflict of interest.

Concerns have been raised that Ruth Charteris QC was a key figure in the previous Lord Advocate James Wolffe's contention that he should be immune from damages actions - which was rejected in the Court of Session.

Dorothy Bain QC, who became Lord Advocate in June has already recused herself from any involvement in litigation surrounding the sale of Rangers to Craig Whyte and the Sevco consortium fronted by Charles Green.

READ MORE: Ex-Rangers exec Charles Green expects criminal case against Lord Advocate over malicious prosecutions

Ms Bain had previously offered advice on the case to law firm Duff and Phelps, which employed former Rangers administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark.

She had flagged the perceived conflict of interest upon her appointment.

Last month, it emerged that Scotland's solicitor general Ms Charteris would issue any instructions to the independent legal team and senior counsel advising on the cases.

At the time the Crown Office said: “Arrangements have also been put in place to ensure that any allegations of criminal conduct in relation to these cases will be considered fairly and objectively, including the appointment of external senior counsel with no previous involvement.”

Ms Charteris was junior counsel to Gerry Moynihan QC in the team that fought Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark's unlawful prosecution claim against former chief constable Philip Gormley and Mr Wolffe.

HeraldScotland: The case against the former administrators of Rangers Paul Clark (right) and David Whitehouse is continuing

Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark

Prosecutors later admitted Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark of Duff and Phelps were wrongfully arrested in a malicious prosecution and the two men sought a total of £20.8 million from the Crown Office and Police Scotland.

But they later settled their action with each of them receiving £10.3 million each - their legal bills, thought to be worth £3 million each, were also paid for.

Mr Whitehouse has said that Ms Charteris may have a conflict of interest and said it was “outrageous” that she would be involved in litigation.

He said: “Counsel are responsible for their pleadings. The buck should stop with Moynihan and Charteris, who are solely responsible for the manner in which they conducted the litigation.”

But a spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said she was “not conflicted and her knowledge of the cases is an asset to the Crown”.

The spokesman added: “There is no substance to the claim that Crown pleadings in the civil action lacked honesty.

“The litigation was kept under constant review and was settled at the earliest possible point once that had been identified as the appropriate course of action.

“The decision to settle an action does not mean that up to that point it has been improperly or irresponsibly defended.

“The Crown will support the inquiry into these cases once all litigation has completed.”


It comes after Rangers chief executive Charles Green said he expects to see criminal charges laid against Scotland's most senior law officer, prosecutors and the police over malicious club fraud prosecutions.

Dubai-based Mr Green, a 68-year-old businessman was arrested with several other men, including Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark following a police probe into alleged fraud in relation to the sale of the current Scottish champions to businessman Craig Whyte in 2011. The cases ended up being dropped.

Mr Whyte, who ended up being the last man standing in the long-running case, was cleared in the summer of 2017 of all charges in connection with his 2011 club purchase from Sir David Murray.

Mr Green, whose Sevco consortium, bought the assets of the club business in liquidation nine years ago for £5.5m winning over £6m from the Lord Advocate in a settlement over his £20m claim.

Duff and Phelps, in claim of misconduct in public office is pursuing a claim of up to £120m against Scotland's most senior law officer over damage to their business over the malicious club fraud case scandal. It had originally been £25m.