Rangers’ lawyer quits Collyer Bristow following club’s administration

Rangers FC company secretary Gary Withey has left Collyer Bristow for “family and personal reasons”, the firm has confirmed.

Withey, a partner at the firm, had become embroiled in the Glasgow football club’s administration, after advising businessman Craig Whyte on his takeover of the club last year.

Collyer Bristow has confirmed that Withey left the partnership and the firm on 2 March and that the firm does not know of his whereabouts.

“We’ve been in contact with him and he is no longer a partner of the firm,” a Collyer Bristow spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the firm has been in e-mail contact with Withey for the past 10 days, but had not made any attempts to trace his location using his IP address.

It is understood that Withey did not attend a meeting on 29 February, the day before his membership of the firm ended.

Meanwhile, Taylor Wessing restructuring partner Nick Moser and Mark Phillips QC and Daniel Bayfield at South Square Chambers are understood to have won roles for Rangers’ administrators, Paul Clark and David Whitehouse at Duff & Phelps, on a successful application to the High Court to transfer £3.6m in client money from Collyer Bristow to Taylor Wessing.

Duff & Phelps said in a statement: “We can confirm that following the court hearing Collyer Bristow paid approximately £3.6m to our lawyers, Taylor Wessing, to be held securely by Taylor Wessing until the High Court decides whether or not it is the club’s money.

“Collyer Bristow will also disclose to Taylor Wessing details of the payments of funds out of their account on behalf of the club since May 2011. The High Court in London will hear further representations on the administrators’ claim to the money and our request for further information from Collyer Bristow on 8 March 2012.”

Duff & Phelps has already hired Scottish firm Biggart Baillie as legal advisers on the administration (15 February 2012).