By Isabel Togoh
Footballer Ched Evans is to sue the lawyers who represented him in a 2012 rape trial in a bid to win back potentially millions of pounds in lost earnings.
Evans was imprisoned for two-and-a-half years after being convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in north Wales in 2011.
He was cleared of rape in a controversial 2016 retrial.
The 29-year-old former Sheffield United player now claims law firm Brabners badly advised him during the initial trial, and stands to win at least six-figures if successful in his attempt to seek damages.
Evans was tipped to play in the Premier League, having been a top earner in League One when he was arrested. He was on £18,000 a week.
He is still playing but on loan to Fleetwood Town, however he will claim that he missed out on a possible fortune due to being convicted.
His lawyers have defended their representation of Evans, and said in a statement to Sky: “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.”
The civil case is set for the High Court in April 2019.
Evans was found not guilty in March 2016 but two of the woman’s former sexual partners were ordered to give evidence in his defence during the retrial.
The case sparked fears that women would be discouraged from reporting sexual assaults.