Having returned to court from lunch, Lady Dorrian, Lord Bracadale and Lord Malcolm have invited Mr Walker to rebut the case presented by Mr Green’s counsel. As was stated in the original hearing, Charles Green used the same firm of solicitors as Andy Coulson to draw up his indemnity agreement.
Mr Walker counters that the indemnity clause does not use clear words. He asks
why would anyone want to take on a liability for someone else’s negligence? He posits that the legal bills of an employee accused of ‘fiddling their expenses‘ would not be met and that ‘everyone was trying to get in the same position as Mr Coulson.‘
Mr Walker attests that “no-one could have contemplated picking up the tab for this sort of crime.” Mr Walker asks the question “can the victim (RIFC) be the indemnifier?” Mr Walker goes further by stating that Green’s appeal is not even close to the line of consideration. He also notes that the alleged crimes occurred prior to his appointment as CEO. Walker posits that the court should consider how “sensible business people” would understand the legal indemnity clause and that the court must distinguish between crimes carried out for personal gain as opposed to those seeking an advantage for his employers. Mr Walker states that Andy Coulson may have committed a crime but that this was done through a “misconceived understanding of his duties.” I should add that Mr Coulson was convicted and imprisoned for his crimes. He sold his assets, including his house to pay for his defence costs, and is awaiting full recompense by News International’s insurer.
Lord Bracadale asks Walker if he is drawing a distinction between accidental and deliberate criminal conduct? Mr Walker states that he is not doing so. This is not surprising given the Coulson case precedent.
Lord Malcolm notes that the original judgment “does not agonise on the nature of Rangers football club.” Mr Walker states that “in common parlance people do not talk about Rangers football club meaning Sevco Scotland.” Mr Walker posits that the club is the ‘trading entity.‘
Lord Malcolm states “I don’t think this is going to work Mr Walker. You cannot have it both ways.”
Lady Dorrian inquires “why would they do that?” (make a distinction between club and company).
Lord Malcolm responded that Rangers only talked about two different entities ‘so they could still say they won the league.’
Mr Walker is attempting to make the case that Green was only indemnified by being CEO of the club, and not as CEO of the limited company. Lord Bracadale countered that it would be”odd” if Green would not be indemnified as CEO of the Ltd company. At this point Mr Walker turns to Mr Blair for instructions.
Lord Malcolm opines that if witnesses were called “there is a great danger of self-serving evidence from the old regime”
At this point in proceedings, Mr Walker ends his submissions. Mr Dewar for Green is then invited to address the court. Mr Dewar states that “the more this debate goes on the more the danger we make this more complicated than it really is.”
At this point the hearings ends. The written judgement will follow