The legal row between Dr Eva Carneiro, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea heads for the courts for the first time in the new year with lawyers for all sides due to cross swords in a private hearing on January 6.
Carneiro's lawyers will be claiming for reinstatement in her role as First Team Doctor, damages for sex discrimination from manager Jose Mourinho as well as personal injury compensation and aggravated damages from the club.
After months of accusations and legal correspondence, the two legal teams - Eastwoods and Mary O'Rourke QC on behalf of Carneiro and Fox Williams for Chelsea and Mourinho - will be fully briefed for battle since proceedings were issued back in November.
At this stage it's thought unlikely that either Mourinho or Carneiro will attend the preliminary hearing. But these latest developments will do little to ease the pressure on the beleaguered 52-year-old manager.
The hearing will take place at the London South Employment Tribunal in Croydon, rather than the Central London Tribunal, as Chelsea's training ground in Cobham falls under the Croydon tribunal's jurisdiction.
At 10am, on January 6, both sides will need to advise a senior judge of the evidence each will put forward, the number of statements and the evidence required from each other.
This is likely to include disclosure of emails and text messages sent by Carneiro, the club and Mourinho on, before and after August 8 when the club doctor was dropped from first team duties for treating Eden Hazard.
Mourinho has since been cleared by the FA of using discriminatory language towards Carneiro but the doctor has criticised the governing body over its investigation.
The hearing, expected to last two hours, will be held in private in front of a senior judge. If both sides are unable to reach agreement, then a date for the full tribunal hearing will be fixed, most likely sometime beyond the end of the season, probably around the first or second week in June.