McIlroy to see files on fellow golfer

-Judge: Details on McDowell’s role in sports agency to be disclosed

Rory McIlroy is entitled to see documents concerning fellow golfer Graeme McDowell’s involvement with a sports representation agency being sued by Mr McIlroy over a representation deal, a judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly also ruled information from Mr McIlroy to the effect that no data is available from various mobile phones held by him over a number of years, including a phone used by him while moving from one agency to another, should be sworn to in an affidavit.

While the defendants complained about the absence of data and might criticise Mr McIlroy about this at trial, the court could do no more now than direct Mr McIlroy to swear an affidavit concerning various phones and devices he had held, the judge said. He also noted the court had been informed, that because Mr McIlroy had not backed up his previous devices, no data on those could be retrieved.

The judge said he could not compel Mr McIlroy, as the defendants sought, to require his caddy JP Fitzgerald to produce any documents in Mr Fitzgerald’s possession which may be relevant to the legal case. It was open to the defendants to bring a non-party discovery motion seeking any such material from Mr Fitzgerald, he said.

Among some documents discovered were emails from businessman Dermot Desmond to Mr Fitzgerald, including an enclosure from Mr Desmond concerning legal advice, the Commercial Court heard.

Ciarán Lewis, counsel for the defendants, contended there was a “stark lack” of documents from Mr McIlroy in three categories crucial to his side, including documents leading up to Mr McIlroy signing a representation agreement in December 2011.

In court documents, Mr McIlroy insisted he had discovered what he could — he rarely communicates in writing; had not backed up his phones and laptops; and has no further documents.

The case, against Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management Ltd; Gurteen Ltd, with a registered address in Malta, and Dublin-based Canovan Management Services, is listed for hearing from January 27, 2015.

Yesterday, the court heard Mr McIlroy’s claim of undue influence is based on grounds including alleged representations by Conor Ridge of Horizon he would get similar representation terms to Mr McDowell.

Mr Fanning said his client had relied on those representations which turned out to be untrue as his client’s terms were significantly inferior to Mr McDowell’s.

Mr McIlroy was also unaware, either when discussing the representation agreement with Mr Ridge in October 2011 or signing it, that Mr McDowell had a shareholding in Horizon.

Lawyers for the defendants previously said it was never represented to Mr McIlroy that the terms to apply to him were identical to those of Mr McDowell and instead it was agreed the terms would be similar to those under an ISM agreement and he had indicated he was satisfied with that.

The judge ruled Mr McIlroy was entitled to all documents held by the defendants related to Mr McDowell’s involvement with Horizon.


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