Prince Andrew’s lawyer said the sexual assault allegations against him were “unfounded, unsustainable and potentially illegal.”
Andrew Brettler represented the Duke of York at a preliminary hearing in New York.
The hearing considered whether the Duke had been properly served with the trial by accuser Virginia Giuffre, the woman who brought a civil action accusing him of sexual assault.
Prince Andrew has always categorically denied any contact or sexual relationship with Ms Giuffre
Ms Giuffre’s attorneys said the the documents were handed over to a metropolitan police officer on duty at the main gates of Andrew’s house in Windsor Great Park on August 27.
Judge Lewis Kaplan told Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies that he has a week to find another way to serve the papers on Prince Andrew.
Mr Brettler said they went to the High Court to check the validity of the way the documents were served.
The Duke’s attorney also told the hearing on Monday that Ms Giuffre had previously reached a “settlement agreement” that would set aside her pending trial.
He added that Andrew’s lawyers had “serious concerns about the merits of this trial.”
“We believe this is an unfounded, unsustainable and potentially illegal lawsuit that the plaintiff has brought against the Duke,” he said.
“There was a settlement agreement that the plaintiff entered into in a prior action which releases the Duke and others from any potential liability.”
Mr Brettler was apparently named at the last moment after Ms Giuffre’s legal team accused Andrew’s lawyers of ‘blocking’ their attempts to get them to get involved in the case.
He has been described as a Hollywood lawyer who allegedly represented director Bryan Singer and musician Ryan Adams, and who has carved out a successful career defending allegations stemming from the #MeToo movement.
During the hearing, Judge Kaplan repeatedly sought to limit the scope of the proceedings to whether the Duke had been properly informed of the case and what steps the court should take to ensure that legal documents reach him.
Mrs. Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s former friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein for having sex with the Duke, when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
She has repeatedly made her allegations against Epstein, the ex-girlfriend of American Ghislaine Maxwell and the prince, but the lawsuit is the first time she directly confronted Andrew in such a formal setting.
Ms Giuffre said earlier in a statement that the lawsuit was brought under the Child Victims Act alleging that she was trafficked and sexually assaulted by him.
“I hold Prince Andrew responsible for what he did to me,” she said.
In a 2019 BBC Newsnight interview, Prince Andrew said he had never had sex with Ms. Giuffre, saying, “I can absolutely tell you this never happened.”
The duke said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her and that there were “a number of things wrong” about her account.
He also suggested that a photo showing him with his arm around Ms Giuffre may have been tampered with.