Peace talks for McIlroy and former agents

Mediation talks between Rory McIlroy and his former sports management agency over a disputed fees agreement will take place this week, the Commercial Court heard yesterday.

The world number one golfer is suing Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management Ltd, along with two other companies, Gurteen Ltd, with a registered address in Malta, and Dublin-based Canovan Management Services.

He claims a representation agreement signed by him in December 2011 is not valid, and unenforceable on grounds including undue influence.

He says agreement was signed when he was aged just 22, inexperienced and without the benefit of independent legal advice.

The agreement, he also alleges, resulted in him paying more than $6.8m (€5.4m) based on “unreasonable” fee rates “many times greater” than the standard in the golf industry.

The defendants deny the claims and have counter-claimed for some $3m allegedly outstanding for off-course gross revenues and other sums allegedly outstanding under a December 2011 and a March 2013 agreement.

They also seek damages for alleged, past and continuing breaches of the agreements.

The case has been before the court on a number of occasions in advance of the hearing of the action, which is expected to take a number of weeks.

Last month, Mr Justice Brian McGovern suggested to lawyers for all parties that this seemed to be a case “made for the mediation process.”

When the case came back before the court yesterday, Maurice Collins, counsel for the defendants, asked that two applications from his side for discovery of documents in relation to the case be taken out of the list because, as the judge was aware, there is to be mediation which will happen “in the next number of days”.

The matter could go back for a week and if the mediation is not successful the defendants would next week be applying for a date for hearing of the case, counsel said.


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