A lawyer participated in a "conspiracy" with Craig Whyte in his takeover of Rangers before doing "a runner", a court has heard.
Gary Withey, who was partner with London legal firm Collyer Bristow, offered advice when Mr Whyte was trying to acquire a majority share in Rangers in 2011, said a lawyer representing the club’s administrators Duff and Phelps.
It became clear that "something was seriously wrong" after Mr Withey resigned from Collyer Bristow earlier this year after the Ibrox club was plunged into administration, Mark Phillips QC told Mr Justice Arnold at the High Court in London.
Administrators are suing Collyer Bristow and Mr Whyte for around £25m in damages on Rangers' behalf. They allege the pair were part of a "conspiracy" and committed negligence.
Collyer Bristow has yet to outline any detailed defence to the allegations. Mr Phillips told the court at Tuesday's pre-trial hearing that there was "no evidence to implicate anybody else" but Mr Withey.
Mr Phillips outlined a "peculiar situation" in a written statement which explained administrators' cash claims and was given to the judge at the hearing. Mr Whyte gave assurances his company, Rangers FC Group, would pay more than £9m, including £5m to buy players, and the money would be held by Collyer Bristow for Rangers' "benefit".
But Mr Phillips said Mr Whyte's "representations" were "false".
He added: "The Rangers FC Group had no ability to provide the necessary funds and no intention of providing them.
"Mr Withey ... was privy to Mr Whyte's deception and participated in the conspiracy."
He also outlined how in April 2011 Collyer Bristow received more than £24m from Ticketus, the London firm which bought the licence to around 100,000 Ibrox season tickets until 2015. Mr Phillips said Collyer Bristow used "much" of the £24m to "make numerous payments on behalf of Mr Whyte and his company".
He said the day after the appointment of administrators at Ibrox on February 14, lawyers contacted Mr Withey to ask for confirmation about an amount of money held by Collyer Bristow on "trust" for Rangers. Mr Withey said initially Collyer Bristow was not holding any money, then "changed his story" and admitted the firm was holding £260,000. A week later another member of staff told administrators that the firm was "in fact holding" £3.9m.
"The situation then became even more peculiar," said Mr Phillips, in the written statement. "To use a colloquial expression, Mr Withey 'did a runner'."
Mr Phillips said Mr Withey had resigned in March and he added: "It was clear something was seriously wrong."
The case will be argued over at a further hearing in October. The administrators’ lawyer had argued that the case needed to be dealt with as quickly as possible because of the financial plight of the club.
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