United Kingdom

Andrew sticks with his 'delay tactics' lawyers for sex case

Prince Andrew retains 'every confidence in his legal team and their strategy' in his sexual assault lawsuit, sources revealed last night.

The claim was made following reports that the Duke of York is being urged by friends and aides to ditch his London-based lawyers.

Concerns have been expressed about the stonewalling strategy of the team – led by Gary Bloxsome at Blackfords LLP – against the explosive allegations.

Sources have said that Prince Andrew retains 'every confidence in his legal team and their strategy' in his sexual assault lawsuit

Virginia Roberts has accused the prince of having sex with her on three occasions when she was 17, knowing she had been trafficked by his close friend, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. 

Andrew has strongly denied the accusations. 

But many in the prince's circle are said to believe the attempts to play a dead bat to the allegations have been both a legal and a PR disaster, allowing Miss Roberts's lawyers to outwit and outplay them at every turn.

Her solicitor David Boies has scathingly described their actions as a 'game of hide and seek behind palace walls'.

Even the judge in the case, Lewis Kaplan, made clear his irritation at the delay tactics last week, telling the prince's US attorney Andrew B Brettler: 'Let's cut out all the technicalities and get to the substance.'

But a source close to the Duke of York told the Daily Mail yesterday: 'Irrespective of media reports, the duke retains every confidence in his legal team and their strategy.'

The Duke of York is being urged by friends and aides to ditch his London-based lawyers, according to reports. Pictured: The Duke of York with Virginia Roberts, then 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell in London 

Virginia Roberts accused the prince of having sex with her on three occasions when she was 17, knowing she had been trafficked by his close friend, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

It comes after US lawyers acting for Miss Roberts – who has filed the claim under her married name Giuffre – say they have finally managed to serve legal papers on the prince. 

According to documents lodged in New York, they were able to send them via FedEx courier and email to his newly-appointed attorney, Mr Brettler, in Los Angeles.

The filing says the High Court in London was also informed. 

Under federal court rules the Queen's son would normally have 21 days to respond or could face a default judgment.

However it is likely to require another ruling by a judge – with the next hearing due on October 13 – to certify that he has been officially served with the papers.

Queen's Platinum Jubilee to be held in private grounds of Windsor Castle

A Platinum Jubilee celebration to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne will be held in the private grounds of Windsor Castle from May 12 to 15.

The military, more than 500 horses and 1,000 performers will take part in the event. 

There will also be live music from the National Symphony Orchestra, and special guest appearances from stars including Stephen Fry and Dame Helen Mirren.

Tickets go on sale today at www.platinumjubilee.com.

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