Welsh international footballer Ched Evans is suing lawyers who represented him in a rape case before he was cleared following an appeal, in a bid to recoup millions in lost earnings.
The former Manchester City and Sheffield United striker, 29, went through a five-year battle to clear his name having served two and a half years in jail.
Evans, now on loan with Fleetwood Town, is seeking damages from Brabners, the legal firm which he used in the first trial.
At the time, he was playing for Sheffield United and was earning a reported £18,000 a week.
The firm responded saying the case was without merit.
In a statement they said: “Brabners put forward a strong defence of the criminal case against Ched Evans following a thorough process and we are vigorously defending our handling of the case.
“We believe the claim for damages is entirely without merit.”
Evans was originally convicted following a trial of raping a 19-year-old in a Premier Inn near Rhyl, North Wales, in May 2011.
But the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial in 2016.
Private investigators gathered new evidence, with a £50,000 reward offered for information to help his case.
In a rare move, the jury at Cardiff Crown Court heard from two men who had sex with the complainant around the time of the rape allegation.
The jury of seven women and five men took less than three hours to find Mr Evans not guilty of the charge following the eight-day trial.
After the verdict, Mr Evans said he was “overwhelmed with relief”.