The parties in this case were creditors of the late William Donald, a merchant in Ayr. Through an agent, Andrew Stephenson, respondent, brought a process to rank the creditors, and representatives of the creditors met to select a common agent. Petitioner David, Earl of Cassilis, claimed that at the meeting a majority of creditors voted for Alexander Abercrombie to be the common agent. However, respondent Stephenson and others preferred George Tod. Following the meeting, Lord Gardenstone, Ordinary, nominated and authorized George Tod as common agent. Cassilis et al. sought review from the Lords of Session, arguing that Abercrombie was selected as common agent by a majority of creditors and by a majority of the value of the debts represented. The petitioners also argued that, as “preferable” creditors, they had priority over the respondents, who were “postponed” creditors. Stephenson et al. disputed specific votes at the creditor meeting, arguing that certain agents for the petitioners were not authorized to vote for Alexander Abercrombie. Some creditors, they argued, did not meet the threshold amount of debt to gain a vote. For all the other creditors who met the threshold amount of debt, the respondents rejected any distinction between preferable and postponed creditors for the ranking of creditors.

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