Court rejects bid to inspect McIlroy phones

The High Court has refused applications by Rory McIlroy’s former management team, Horizon Sport Management Ltd, for orders seeking inspection of the golfer’s mobile phones.

The applications had also been made by two other companies McIlroy had signed a representation agreement with — Gurteen Ltd and Canovan Management Services.

Mr Justice Raymond Fullam also refused orders seeking discovery of the golfer’s telephone bills and inspection orders of the mobile phones of consultant Donal Casey, who later became CEO of Rory McIlroy Inc, and of Sean O’Flaherty, the golfer’s personal assistant.

Judge Fullam said yesterday in a reserved judgement that the three companies had been looking for expert inspection of eight mobile phones and any computers used by the golfer at any time between October 2011 and December 2013.

The judge said the proposed inspection included “unspecified devices of which there is no evidence of use” by McIlroy.

“The proposed forensic examination of the phones is a speculative exercise which goes beyond the parameters of the evidence.”

The applications had been made last year in advance of the hearing of the golfer’s claim he is entitled to repudiate a December 2011 agreement with the three companies, on grounds that it was improvident.

Horizon Sport Management, Gurteen, and Canovan Management Services deny his claims and have counter-claimed for damages. They claimed McIlroy deliberately “wiped clean” up to eight mobile phones which may have contained important information relating to his legal action against his former sports management company.

It is claimed this “factory resetting” of phones was also done to devices of Mr Casey and Mr O’Flaherty, and of the golfer’s father, Gerry McIlroy.

Judge Fullam said Mr Casey and Mr O’Flaherty were not parties in the case, and making inspection orders without their consent would be oppressive.

The judge also refused that Gerry McIlroy be compelled to provide a further affidavit.


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