World number one avoids trial

Golfer McIlroy ‘to pay up to £20m’ to settle dispute with former agent

Rory McIroyGolf star Rory McIlroy has agreed to a multi-million payout to settle a legal dispute with his former agent Conor Ridge of Horizon Sports Management.

The Northern Irishman, who helped Europe win the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September,  was drawn into into a row over the cut the agency was taking from his earnings and his departure from the firm in 2013.

An agreement, said to have cost the world’s number one golfer up to £20 million, avoids the prospect of a two-month trial. McIlroy will also pay both parties’ legal costs estimated at £4m.

 A statement from the two parties said: “The legal dispute between Rory McIlroy and Horizon Sports Management has been settled to the satisfaction of both parties who wish each other well for the future.”
Yesterday, the 25-year-old golfer appeared briefly at the High Court in Dublin where his lawyers had the case in the High Court against Horizon adjourned after a mere 42 seconds. He was not in court today.

McIlroy’s case had alleged that 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 sued Horizon and two associated companies – Gurteen Ltd, based in Malta and Canovan Management Services in Dublin alleging that Horizon has charged commissions far greater than is standard in the sports industry.

McIroy, who has a £66m sponsorship deal with Nike, is now represented by his own business, Rory McIlroy Incorporated, headed by former Horizon employee Donal Casey.

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