THE RECENT re-opening of Letham Grange golf courses might again be under threat after a bitter 10-year ownership wrangle over Letham Grange Development Company Limited (LGDC) was concluded in the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Tuesday.
Ownership of the property had been the central issue in a legal battle since 2001 when Taiwanese businessman Peter Liu, who was then owner of the company, sold the hotel and golf club to another of his companies, Nova Scotia Ltd (NSL).
Letham Grange Development Company Limited went into liquidation and the liquidator entered into a lengthy legal pursuit of NSL claiming that the sale had not been within the law.
The case went to the House of Lords before being determined by the Court of Session when Mr Liu dropped his defence and the case went against him.
However, Letham Grange Development Company Limited had borrowed from another of Mr Liu’s companies, Foxworth Investments Ltd., and had granted standard security over the hotel to that company.
As a result of that, the liquidator started another legal action in an attempt to strike out the standard security and pass the hotel on to the venture capitalists.
That action was opposed by Mr Liu and evidence was led from both sides last summer.
In his decision this week, Lord Glennie found in favour of Mr Liu. He dismissed the liquidator’s claim and upheld the security in favour of Foxworth, which they can exercise over the hotel. However, the liquidator continues to control the wider resort which includes the golf courses.
Mr Liu’s solicitor, David Halliday, of Edinburgh-based Halliday Campbell, told the Arbroath Herald yesterday (Thursday): “Mr Liu always looked forward to being able to lead in court all the evidence that he had available, and to challenge in front of a judge the allegations made against him by Mr Henderson [of Matthew Purdon Henderson, Chartered Accountant].
“He is very pleased that, as he had always been confident would happen, the judge who has finally heard and considered all that evidence has found so firmly in his favour and has dismissed all the claims made by Mr Henderson.”
Letham Grange Golf Club is not associated with any of the companies involved but recently entered an arrangement with liquidators The MacDonald Partnership to run the courses and offer limited clubhouse facilities.