Charles Alexander Green v Rangers International Football Club plc

Charles Green, the former chief executive of Rangers International Football Club plc who claimed that the company were contractually obliged to pay the costs of his defence to criminal proceedings brought against him, has had his action dismissed by a judge in the Court of Session.

On 26 November 2015, following the legal debate which was heard on 12 November 2015, Lord Doherty dismissed the action brought by Mr Green (“the pursuer”) against Rangers International Football Club plc (“the defender”). 

In the action the pursuer founded upon clause 8.3 of the “Without Prejudice Compromise Agreement” which had been concluded between the pursuer (“the Employee”) and the defender (“the Company”) in April 2013. 

Clause 8.3 provided: “The Company will pay any reasonable professional (including, without limitation, legal and accounting) costs and expenses properly incurred by the Employee after the date of this Agreement which arise from having to defend, or appear in, any administrative, regulatory, judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings by a third party as a result of his having been Chief Executive of The Rangers Football Club or the Company.” 

The pursuer argued that the clause obliged the defender to pay the reasonable professional costs and expenses of the pursuer defending the criminal proceedings which have been brought against him. 

However, Lord Doherty decided that clause 8.3 does not oblige the defender to pay the costs of the pursuer defending the criminal proceedings which have been brought against him. He concluded that on a proper construction of the clause those criminal proceedings do not fall within its ambit. 

A written Opinion containing the reasons for his decision has been issued to parties. 

In view of the orders in terms of s.4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 made by the High Court of Justiciary on 16 October 2015 and by Lord Doherty on 12 November 2015 it is not proposed that the Opinion be published until the criminal proceedings against the pursuer and his co-accused have been concluded.