Rory McIlroy’s day in court: parties locked in series of meetings

Further progress reported between golfer and Horizon Management

Rory McIlroy leaves the Four Courts in Dublin on Tuesday night after meetings between his side and Horizon Sports Management. Photograph: Courts Collins

Rory McIlroy leaves the Four Courts in Dublin on Tuesday night after meetings between his side and Horizon Sports Management. Photograph: Courts Collins

 

World number one golfer Rory McIlroy left the High Court on Tuesday night after several meetings between his side and Horizon Sports Management.

The golfer is suing Horizon, and they are countersuing.

The High Court case involving golfer McIlroy and his former agents was further deferred until 11am on Wednesday as further progress was reported in the talks.

Paul Gallagher SC, for Mr McIlroy, told Mr Justice Brian Cregan the case was scheduled to last eight weeks and there are many issues involved.

Counsel said he and Paul Sreenan, senior counsel for the defendants, are seeing if they can narrow those issues.

Mr McIlroy, a four time Major winner, accompanied by a number of people, arrived early for consultations with his lawyers. He sat in a bench behind the lawyers waiting for the case to start before the judge came out at 11am.

In his action before the Commercial Court, the 25-year-old claims Horizon Sports Management in charged commissions “many times greater” than is standard.

McIlroy joined Horizon’s stable of golfers – which also included fellow-Major champion Graeme McDowell – in December 2011 and, in March 2013, he signed an extended contract that would take him up to 2017.

He is suing the company, along with Gurteen Ltd and Canovan Management Services, claiming the representation agreement he signed is unenforceable on grounds including undue influence and improvidence.

McIlroy claims he was just 22 when he signed the agreement, without the benefit of legal advice and with no business experience.

The defendants deny the claims and have counter-claimed for revenues allegedly outstanding under the agreement for off-course revenues.

They estimate they are owed $9 million (€7.9 million) in commission and are seeking damages for loss of further revenues.