It’s business as usual for golf club

Letham Grange
Letham Grange

A ruling may have been made on the long-running dispute over the ownership of Letham Grange - but for the golf club it’s business as usual.

On Wednesday morning the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in favour of the appellants in the case of Henderson (Respondent) v Foxworth Investments Limited and another (Appellants) 2014 UKSC 41.

Throughout the 12-year legal wrangle over the ownership of the Letham Grange Development Group and the associated hotel and golf courses, the Letham Grange Golf Club, which makes use of the disputed facilities, has battled on regardless, and despite some ups and downs is now in rude health with over 500 members.

A spokesperson for Letham Grange Golf Club said: “In the short term, as far as the club is concerned nothing changes. We have a licence from the property owners to occupy the lands and operate the golf courses through to February 2015 and our immediate reading of this morning’s judgement has no immediate effect, so it’s a case of business as usual.”

The case was an appeal against a decision made by an Extra Division of the Inner House which had overturned a previous ruling by the Lord Ordinary, Lord Glennie.

A case had been raised by Matthew Purdon Henderson, in his capacity as liquidator of the Letham Grange Development Company Limited (LGDC) that its sale in January 2001 to Nova Scotia Limited (NSL) for a disposition of £248,100, and then the granting of a standard security in favour of Foxworth in January 2003 was a gratuitous alienation, given that it’s value at the time of liquidation in December 2002 was around £1.8 million.

In its first iteration the Lord Ordinary had found against Henderson, who then appealed, with the Extra Division of the Inner House subsequently finding in his favour that Foxworth had not obtained its rights under the standard security in good faith or for value and citing errors in law on Lord Glennie’s part.

In handing down his judgement Lord Reed said: “The Lord Ordinary was correct to approach the evidence as a whole with an open mind, rather than beginning with a presumptive conclusion in favour of the liquidator’s case, and then explaining why he was nevertheless persuaded that the liquidator should not succeed.

“The fact that he found the liquidator’s circumstantial case less impressive than the Extra Division reflected a careful and nuanced assessment of the evidence, and an understanding of the commercial realities of the situation with which the case was concerned.”