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After two long years of arguing, 2-1 vote handed victory to Rangers.

Byline: THE JUDGES By David Taylor

THE panel which granted Rangers' appeal was made up of two lawyers, including a QC, and an accountancy expert.

Kenneth Mure QC, a Scot who works as a barrister in England, chaired the trio's meetings, which dragged on for 25 months.

Mure and lawyer Scott Rae found in favour of Rangers. Accountancy expert Dr Heidi Poon dissented.

The panel sat in private at George House in Edinburgh. They met on November 5, 2010, April 18-21 and 26-28 2011, May 3-6, 7-10, 2011, November 16, 2011, and finally on January 16-18, 2012.

In a 145-page majority ruling, which is littered with legal jargon, Mure and Rae said: "The root problem in this case from the viewpoint of HMRC lies in the structure of the relevant statutory scheme (EBTs).

"Although the facts which we summarise show that the employees benefited from the arrangements, in our view they do not lead to the conclusion that the payments made by the Appellant (Rangers) to the trusts amounted to the payment of money or a profit 'The tribunal regrets equivalent to cash to the employees." delay giving " In other words, the EBTs were not wages.decision' Mure and Rae added: "The facts are that, in relation to both trusts, employees requested the appellant to make payments to the trusts of amounts which they would otherwise have received in cash as bonuses.

"The discussions with the employees before the trusts were established persuaded them that there were advantages for the employees in the trust arrangements.

"None of the employees would have accepted the arrangements if they had considered that there was a realistic possibility that the sums otherwise received as bonuses would not be available to them in one form or another and it was highly likely that all requests for loans would be accepted."

In her minority opinion, Dr Poon said she believed the EBT payments were never designed to be loans which were paid back.

She wrote: "In respect of how the scheme was 'intended to operate', it was the 'manifested intentions of the parties' that the loans would never be enforced for repayment - that is how the scheme was intended to work."

The tribunal said they had spent 29 days looking at the case.

the in They added: "At a late stage in its deliberations it became clear that the tribunal would be unable to issue a unanimous decision. " It is conscious of, and regrets, the consequent delay." Mure, 65, was born in Glasgow and attended the city's High School and Glasgow University.

a He became a QC in 1975 when he was admitted to the Scots bar, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Taxation - a position he has held since 1981.

Mure has also been a barrister in England since 1990, when he joined Gray's Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in London which serve as professional associations for judges and barristers.

ON LISTPAGES STARS 7 HIT 6& late 'The tribunal regrets the delay in giving a decision' and consequent

CAPTION(S):

AGAINST J Dr Heidi Poon

FOR Kenneth Mure QC
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 21, 2012
Words:519
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