Footballer Ched Evans is suing the lawyers who represented him in a rape trial in an effort to recoup a potential fortune of millions in lost earnings.
Evans spent two-and-a-half years in prison after being convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room at the end of a drunken night in north Wales in 2011, but a retrial in 2016 found him not guilty.
Evans is now claiming he was badly advised by Brabners, the legal firm that defended him in the initial trial in 2012.
If successful in proving malpractice, the Welsh striker could be awarded hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of pounds in damages.
At the time of his arrest, Evans was the top scorer for Sheffield United and earning around £18,000 a week, making him one of the top earners in League One at the time.
He was also named in the Professional Footballers' Association team of the year for the division – and many supporters said he would have gone on to play in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old is now playing on loan for Fleetwood Town in League One, but will argue that he missed out on a potential fortune owing to his conviction.
Evans pursued Sheffield United, who employed him at the time he was arrested, for lost wages – but the maximum amount a person who is wrongfully convicted can claim is capped at £500,000.
He is set for the High Court in April next year for the hearing of a civil case against Brabners, which could result in a windfall of millions of pounds.
A spokesperson for the law firm 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."
The retrial that led to his acquittal two years ago was highly controversial.
The decision to allow the jury to hear the sexual history of the complainant provoked outrage from women's support groups and campaigners.
In court, Evans admitted that he did not speak to the woman before, during or after sex, and left the hotel via a fire exit.
The footballer, who won 13 caps for Wales, began his professional career at Manchester City before joining Sheffield United in 2009.