Details of a financial action brought against tennis ace Andy Murray and his parents by a former adviser have emerged in a High Court judgment.
Proceedings against the 26-year-old Wimbledon champion, his mother Judy and father William have been brought by David Cody, who was appointed in 2003 as their exclusive adviser in relation to his professional tennis career.
David Donaldson QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge in London, gave a ruling yesterday (Tuesday) on a preliminary issue relating to costs.
He ordered Mr Cody, who lives in Texas, to provide security of 30,000 dollars (18,600) and said the proceedings would be “stayed until such payment is made”.
Giving the background, he said: “The first defendant is the well-known tennis player; the other two defendants are his parents. They entered into a written agreement dated December 16 2003 with the claimant under which the claimant was appointed their exclusive adviser in relation to his professional tennis career.”
He said Mr Cody was to “receive 10% of gross payments from inter alia all commercial and sponsorship agreements entered into during or renewed after the term of the agreement, which was for an initial period of two years and thereafter determinable on six months notice by either side”.
The judge said that on April 25 2005 Mrs Murray gave six months notice terminating the contract.
Negotiations in late April and May 2006 resulted in an offer to Mr Cody of 65,000 “in addition to retaining all commissions and other payments which he had so far received, to be in full and final satisfaction of all present and future claims”.
That offer was accepted, said the judge.
On June 1 2004 a two-year sponsorship deal with RBS had commenced, said the judge, and in February 2006 Andy Murray “made clear in an email that in his view the entitlement to commission applied only to receipts up to the end of the contract, viz December 2005”.
The judge said it was not in issue that a new agreement with RBS was concluded on March 26 2006, due to start on June 1 2006 on expiry of the old one.
The Murray family had retained Mr Patricio Apey to act for them in the negotiations with Mr Cody, “in which they did not personally participate”.
Mr Cody alleges that he was told by Mr Apey during the negotiations that the 2004 RBS agreement had not been renewed and that it was uncertain that RBS would continue sponsorship.
The judge added: “The defendants respond that Mr Apey said no such thing and that it is clear from two emails from the claimant… that he was well aware of the renewal and had negotiated overtly on that basis.”
The defendants applied for security of costs, he said, “on the basis that Mr Cody is resident in Texas”.
Part of Mr Cody’s argument against the order was that “the modest level of his assets is such that any order for security would stifle his claim”.
But the judge said he was not satisfied that Mr Cody “will be unable to find 30,000 (dollars) and in consequence be prevented from prosecuting this claim further”.