Published February 26, 2014
RBS is asking for testimony and documents from Managing Dir Ian Ayre.
Royal Bank of Scotland is seeking the legal equivalent of a subpoena for former board members of Liverpool Football Club in the ongoing legal strife surrounding the sale of the club nearly four years ago. RBS has asked a N.Y. State Court judge to request that British authorities compel the testimony and production of documents from three former board members, an investment bank and a law firm all closely involved in the sale of LFC to Fenway Sports Group. Mill Financial, a former LFC creditor, is suing RBS, alleging the bank orchestrated the sale of the club to the detriment of Mill, which had wanted to buy the team. New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten twice has turned down motions to dismiss the case. Now for the first time, RBS in papers filed before Bransten Feb. 21 denied it had controlled the Liverpool board, and asked the judge under the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters to seek British intervention. RBS is asking for testimony and documents from former LFC Chair Martin Broughton; Managing Dir Ian Ayre and former Managing Dir Christian Purslow; Barclays Investment bank, which brokered the sale; and the law firm of Slaughter & May. The motion also asks for documents only from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which provided due diligence on the value of the club. The motion says RBS has contacted all the parties, but so far has been unable to obtain any information. Herrick Feinstein sports lawyer John Goldman explained that if Bransten forwards the motion to the British and they grant it, it would legally compel the individuals to provide testimony and documents. FSG is not a defendant in the case, but Bransten has already ordered the firm to submit to Mill’s discovery requests.