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Rory McIlroy to take a break from golf to prepare for trial

Rory McIlroy has announced he will take a break from golf to prepare for his forthcoming trial.

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

Today it was announced that no agreement had been reached between McIlroy and Horizon despite mediation talks and the case will  proceed to a full hearing next February.

 "I'm going to need time away from tournament golf to prepare for the trial over my legal dispute with Horizon Sports Management," Rory said today.

"The court-directed mediation process failed over the weekend to resolve the issue."

McIlroy will sit out the forthcoming BMW Masters or the WGC - HSBC Champions and is expected to return at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on November 20. 

McIlroy claims a representation agreement signed by him in December 2011 is invalid and unenforceable on grounds including alleged undue influence. The agreement, he alleges, was signed when he was aged just  22, inexperienced and without the benefit of independent legal advice.

The defendants deny the claims and have counter-claimed for some US$3m dollars allegedly outstanding under the agreement for off-course revenues. They also claim additional monies are owed under both the December 2011 agreement and a later agreement of March 2013. They are also claiming damages for alleged past and continuing breaches of both agreements.

At the Commercial Court last month, Mr Justice Brian McGovern suggested the sides attempt to mediate the dispute and his suggestion was taken up.

When the matter was back before the judge today, he was told by Rossa Fanning BL, for Mr McIlroy, the mediation has proven unsuccessful and the case was proceeding to trial.

The judge agreed to deal with issues related to discovery of documents in mid November and adjourned the matter on consent.

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