Prince Andrew may challenge High Court ruling over sex assault case
The High Court in London accepted on Wednesday a request by Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers to formally contact Andrew about the legal proceedings launched in America.
It is understood Andrew’s team are contesting the court’s decision.
Ms Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.
She claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s former friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the duke when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
Andrew has vehemently denied all the allegations.
The High Court said in a statement: “Lawyers for Prince Andrew have indicated that they may seek to challenge the decision of the High Court to recognise the validity of the Hague Convention request for service made by Ms Giuffre’s lawyers.
“The High Court has directed that any challenge must be made by close of business on September 24.”
The issue of whether or not Andrew has been notified about the case – known as service of proceedings – was contested during the first pre-trial hearing of the civil case on Monday in New York.
David Boies, representing Ms Giuffre, said papers had been “delivered to the last known address of the defendant” and documents had also been sent “by Royal Mail”.
Andrew B Brettler, the duke’s attorney, said the royal’s team contested the validity of service to date, adding he has not been properly served under either UK or international law.
Under the Hague Service Convention, a treaty that governs requests between countries for evidence in civil or commercial matters, Ms Giuffre’s legal team can ask the High Court in London to formally notify Andrew about her civil action.
The Guardian has reported the judge in the case, US district judge Lewis Kaplan, has ruled Ms Giuffre’s legal team can try delivering the papers to Andrew’s Los Angeles-based lawyer, regardless of whether the duke authorised him to accept it.