ONE of Britain’s leading bankruptcy experts has been appointed to probe ex-Rangers owner Craig Whyte’s finances.
Louise Brittain will investigate the businessman’s assets to see if any money can be recovered for creditors.
The insolvency expert has built a fearsome reputation while dealing with some of the country’s most high-profile bankruptcy cases.
Previous bankrupts she has handled have included disgraced Tory MPs Jonathan Aitken and Neil Hamilton, TV presenter Michael Barrymore, historian David Irving, singer Kerry Katona and former Rangers captain Colin Hendry.
Whyte, 44, was made bankrupt at the High Court in London last month over a debt of more than £20 million owed to ticketing firm Ticketus.
Ticketus then asked the court for a bankruptcy trustee with full investigative powers to be appointed leading to Ms Brittain, the head of Contentious Insolvency at London accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy, taking the role.
She said her job would be an “information gathering” exercise to see if Whyte had any money or property which could be sold off.
She said: “Creditors can ask for a bankruptcy trustee to be appointed to deal with the bankruptcy and that’s why I have been appointed.
“This can be done for various reasons, such as estate being held abroad, and it is not unusual in a bankruptcy of this kind.
“This is not a normal consumer credit bankruptcy.
“My role is to interview the debtor and investigate their assets by looking at their bank accounts for example.
“I will then make any payments that are possible to the creditors.
“The process can take anything from 18 months up to five or six years.
“The debtor will be discharged from their bankruptcy after one year but that can be extended if there is non co-operation.”
Ms Brittain said her role did not include investigating any “wrongdoing” prior to the bankruptcy as this was a matter for the Insolvency Service.
She has forged a reputation as one of the leading bankruptcy specialists in the UK
Her first big break came when her previous firm Baker Tilly secured the Jonathan Aitken bankruptcy. She recovered four times more money for the creditors than they were originally offered and the other cases followed on from that.
Ticketus successfully sued the Whyte for damages in 2013 over his part in the takeover of the Ibrox club in 2011.
The bankruptcy petition was filed at the High Court in London after he did not pay a judgment debt, plus costs and interest, currently worth £20.8m.
Ticketus provided cash to help Whyte purchase Rangers in 2011. The agreement was later terminated when the club entered administration in February 2012.
In April last year Whyte surrendered the keys to his 15th century pile Castle Grant, near Grantown-on-Spey.
The property was re-possessed by the bank due to him failing to pay the £7000-a-month mortgage for two years.
Whyte and his then wife Kim bought the castle for more than £700,000 in 2006.
Whyte also faces criminal charges over his part in the Rangers takeover and has been granted legal aid to fight the case.