Footballer Ched Evans has agreed a settlement with north of England firm Brabners over its handling of a rape case that resulted in the player being jailed but then later cleared on appeal.
A case against the firm alleging negligent defence was due to go to trial this month, but it is understood a settlement of around £800,000 has been agreed. Evans had originally claimed £21m in compensation.
The former Manchester City and Sheffield United striker went through a five-year battle to clear his name having served two and a half years in prison. He was originally convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel in Wales, in May 2011. The conviction was later quashed. Brabners stopped acting for Evans after the initial High Court trial.
A spokesperson for Brabners said it believed the case was entirely without merit: ‘Brabners put forward a strong defence of Evans’ claim following a thorough process and we were prepared to vigorously defend our handling of the case,’ the spokesperson said.
At the time of his conviction, Evans was earning a reported £18,000 a week.
Brabners has a sports law department and has in the past acted for sports stars accused of criminal wrongdoing. The Gazette understands the firm’s advice was not mentioned during Evans’ retrial and the issue arose after Evans’ conviction was quashed.
A statement on Evans’ website said: ’In late 2016 Ched began litigation against his original defence team of Matthew Bennett and Stuart Ripley of Brabners LLP for negligent defence. On Thursday 4 April 2019 Ched accepted an out of court settlement.’