Blackstone silk defeated in Wayne Rooney commission case

Blackstone Chambers silk Ian Mill QC has lost a high profile case in the Manchester Mercantile Court after Mr Justice Hegarty QC ruled that his client, sport management firm Proactive, was not owed commission by footballer Wayne Rooney.

Hill Dickinson head of commercial litigation Geraldine Ryan instructed Kings Chambers’ Paul Chaisty QC to act for the Manchester United striker who was accused of withholding commission on multi-million pound deals brokered by Proactive, which used to represent him.

Mill was instructed by solicitor James Martin of Harrogate-based McCormicks Solicitors to pursue the footballer for breach of contract.

It was argued that when Rooney followed Proactive’s former agent Paul Stretford when he quit the agency in 2008 the footballer failed to terminate his contract properly, leaving him owing commission to the agency. Mill argued the agency was owed £4.3m in commission.

Hegarty J, who delayed the verdict until after the recent FIFA World Cup,  held that Proactive was only entitled to a ’restitutional remedy’ from Rooney amounting to around £90,000.

Mill told the court that his client would consider taking the matter to the Court of Appeal.


Claimant: McCormicks solicitor James Martin instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Ian Mill QC to lead Tom Weisselberg, also of Blackstone.

Defendant: Hill Dickinson partner Geraldine Ryan instructed Kings Chambers’ Paul Chaisty QC to lead Mark Harper, also of Kings Chambers.