herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Rory McIlroy playing a waiting game in legal contest

World number one golfer Rory McIlroy remained unfazed as his legal battle against his former management company was adjourned three times in the Four Courts.

The millionaire golfer returns to the court today for the case against Horizon Sports Management which could take up to eight weeks.

The case opened on schedule at 11am yesterday but was adjourned after less than two minutes when Senior Counsel for McIlroy, Paul Gallagher, asked for time for both parties to "narrow" the lengthy list of issues involved.

Read More: Rory McIlroy case deferred as legal teams discuss how to 'narrow' issues progress

When they returned at 2pm Mr Gallagher reported they were "making progress" but asked Mr Justice Brian Cregan for a further adjournment until 4pm.

This was granted and when the court resumed at that time Mr Gallagher asked for another adjournment until 11am this morning.

The golfer is claiming an agreement signed by him in December 2011 with Horizon Sports Management was invalid and unenforceable on a number of grounds including alleged undue influence.

He has brought legal proceedings against Horizon and two associated companies - Gurteen Ltd with an address in Malta and Canovan Management Services in Dublin.

McIlroy claims Horizon charged commissions "many times greater" than a standard in the sports industry.

This included one agreement where he was to pay 20pc of his sponsorship deals and 15pc if the contract was renewed in 2017.

Horizon has denied the claims and had counterclaimed for money allegedly outstanding under the agreement for off-course income.

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

Rory McIlroy flew into Dublin for the legal case on Monday morning from Dubai where he had just won the Dubai Desert Classic.

Throughout yesterday's hearing the tanned golfer was flanked by a team of lawyers, the CEO of McIlroy Inc, Donal Casey and his personal assistant Sean O'Flaherty.

team

He chatted amicably to his team before each of the three short sessions, none of which lasted longer than two minutes.

The Horizon team, including CEO Conor Ridge, was seated towards the back of the crowded court.

The McIlroy group had reserved four rooms in the basement of the Four Courts where they had also booked a lunch.

Court No 1 in the round hall of the Four Courts was packed to capacity with journalists from both Ireland and abroad.

Seats for members of the public were restricted to allow for the large media attendance.

Outside a bank of photographers and TV teams captured McIlroy's arrival at the court and as the day's proceedings finished there was a rush to film and photograph his departure in a large people carrier which had been on standby in a side street all day.

hnews@herald.ie

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