3VB leads Collyer Bristow defence in case brought by Rangers FC administrators

Three Verulam Buildings (3VB) will today ’vigorously contest’ claims of professional negligence on behalf of Collyer Bristow’s role in the Rangers FC administration.

The firm has instructed Clyde & Co partner Richard Harrison and senior associate Nicole McKinnon to fight the action brought by the club’s administrators, Duff & Phelps partners Paul Clark and David Whitehouse.

Clydes has called on 3VB counsel Cyril Kinsky QC and Matthew Hardwick, who will go up against South Square Chambers’ Mark Phillips QC and Mark Bayfield at the High Court this morning. The latter two were instructed by Taylor Wessing restructuring partner Nick Moser.

The Lawyer understands that Collyer Bristow does not contest any claim to the £3.6m of client money that was transferred out of the firm and into Taylor Wessing for safekeeping last month. There is a dispute about who can access the money between the UK tax authorities, a pension fund and Duff & Phelps, which are all claiming a share.

Proceedings were adjourned last month so that wider claims against Collyer Bristow could be brought. The details of these claims will be revealed in court today but are believed to be substantially larger claims relating to alleged professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

Collyer Bristow business development director Paul Newhall said the firm will “robustly defend” any further claims.

Former Collyer Bristow partner Gary Withey last week distanced himself from the ongoing legal action and told The Lawyer he would not be appearing in court today (11 April 2012).

The London-based firm advised businessman Craig Whyte in the takeover of the historic Scottish club. Withey was named as Rangers secretary following Whyte’s £1 buyout.