Scotland's Lord Advocate excused from Rangers litigation over conflict of interest concerns

Scotland’s new Lord Advocate has recused herself from any further involvement in litigation related to the collapse of Rangers FC, over conflict of interest concerns.

Dorothy Bain QC was appointed Scotland’s most senior law officer in June.

Her predecessor, James Wolffe QC, had been forced to apologise to several people involved in the administration of the football club after they were wrongfully prosecuted.

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David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, who worked for the firm Duff & Phelps, had been appointed joint administrators of Rangers in 2012, but were arrested in 2014 regarding their involvement.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC (right) and Solicitor General Ruth Charteris QC (left) after the swearing in ceremony at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

They were awarded more than £20 million after charges brought against them were dropped or dismissed.

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In a statement, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said that on her appointment, Ms Bain had “raised the issue of a perceived conflict of interest as she had previously acted for a firm of solicitors who represented the corporate entity, Duff and Phelps”.

It said she had “recused herself from further involvement in related matters”.

The statement said: “The Solicitor General for Scotland, Ruth Charteris QC, will now issue instructions to the independent legal team and senior counsel advising on these cases.

“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.

“The Lord Advocate has written to the convenor of the Criminal Justice Committee to advise them of the new arrangements.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously backed calls for an inquiry into the prosecutions fiasco, once outstanding legal proceedings have concluded.


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