SNP ministers spent £1m in legal fees over Rangers collapse

SNP ministers spent more than £1m of public money on legal advice relating to the collapse of Rangers Football Club, it has emerged.

The Scottish Government today published a breakdown of all the occasions in the last five years in which it had spent more than £50,000 on external legal fees.

The final bill for the 26 cases came to just over £5.8m.

The costs included £510,224 and £427,061 spent on fees related to Rangers administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark respectively.

The men, who worked for Duff and Phelps, were appointed administrators when Rangers went broke in 2012.

The pair were arrested in 2014, but fraud charges against them were later dropped.

They were awarded £10.5m each in damages after settling out of court with the Crown Office last December after complaining of a “malicious prosecution”.

The Scottish Government also spent £72,002 spent in relation to business consultant David Grier, who was also arrested in 2014 over the Rangers administration.

Acquitted of all charges, he is now suing the Lord Advocate, the head of the prosecution services, and Police Scotland for £7m over claims he was wrongfully arrested. 

Other figures released under freedom of information show the Scottish Government also spent £363,524 on legal advice in a dispute with Donald Trump’s business empire.

Trump International Golf Club was in dispute with the Government over the siting of a wind farm off the coast of his Aberdeenshire golf course.

The biggest bill identified was for legal advice related to “Agricultural Holdings Landlord’s Claims” for £825,949, followed by £633,273 for “Employment law – procedures advice”.

A fight against the Scotch Whisky Association, which unsuccessfully opposed minimum unit pricing for alcohol, cost £493,928, while a courtroom battle against the Christian Institute, which deafeated the Government over its ‘named person’ scheme, cost £482,266.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992