Flatley sued for pounds 10m by ex-manager

MICHAEL FLATLEY, the dancer, began his fight yesterday against a damages action for pounds 10m by his former manager, John Reid.

Mr Flatley sat with his legal team in court 60 at the High Court in London as Mr Reid's QC, Robert Englehart, opened the case against him.

Mr Reid claims he was sacked after helping the popular Riverdance star launch the successful Lord of the Dance stage show.

Counsel told Mr Justice Lightman that the action involved "a claim for damages by way of compensation for the repudiation of a management agreement".

Mr Reid, 47, former manager of the rock star Elton John, claims he was sacked early into the British run of Lord of the Dance.

The case will last about five weeks, during which the dancer and his former manager are expected to be among a "considerable" number of witnesses who will give evidence.

At the opening of the hearing Mr Englehart told the judge that the defendant was "a well-known dancer of some considerable repute and undoubtedly a considerable talent in the dance field".

Counsel said that Mr Reid was "summarily dismissed" in a solicitor's letter on 16 January 1997: "The management contract had only been entered into some seven months previously and was not due under its terms to expire until October 15 1998."

Mr Englehart said Mr Flatley's case was that he was "entitled to summarily dismiss his manager" for a number of reasons. "Firstly, he says that Mr Reid made various statements when he, Mr Flatley, and Mr Reid, first met in St Tropez in September 1995 and he says that he was induced by what Mr Reid said then to enter into the management agreement in June 1996."

Counsel told the packed court that the star also claimed that the management contract was "procured by undue influence" on the part of John Reid Enterprises Ltd.

It was further alleged, he said, that the contract at the centre of the case represented an "unconscionable bargain" and was the result of "economic duress".

Mr Englehart said another line of defence put forward by Mr Flatley was that there had been "repudiatory breaches" of contract - "breaches of contract of such gravity that Mr Flatley ... was entitled summarily to terminate this contract", which happened on January 16 1997.

The case continues today.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable