PRINCE Andrew has hired a top Hollywood lawyer to appear at a hearing in his sex assault civil case.

Hours before a phone conference with his accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s team, it’s been confirmed that US legal eagle Andrew B. Brettler will represent the royal.

Prince Andrew has hired a top lawyer for his civil case against accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre

Mr Brettler is based in LA, with an office an hour-and-a-half from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Montecito home.

He was named in The Hollywood Reporter’s 2019 Power Lawyers and Hollywood’s Top 100 Attorneys, and two years ago was named one of Southern California’s ‘super lawyers’ by trade publications.

The expert, a senior partner with firm Lavely & Singer, specialises in media and entertainment litigation and employment law.

He represents actor Armie Hammer, who has been accused of rape.

Before this evening, it had been believed US lawyers for Andrew would stonewall the hearing altogether.

Andrew plans to challenge the US court’s jurisdiction. He will also contest that he was properly served with the lawsuit.

His accuser’s lawyers insist he has been served court papers in accordance with English and international law.

They say a copy of the summons was left with police at the gate of Windsor Royal Lodge on August 27.

However, Gary Bloxsome, representing Andrew, claimed correct procedure was not followed.

He says the papers should be served through a British court official.

At the hearing, Manhattan federal court judge Lewis Kaplan will ask Ms Giuffre’s legal team to detail their efforts to serve Andrew, 61, with the papers.

He will then decide whether enough has been done to deliver the papers.

In a notice submitted to the court today by the royal’s legal team, it’s confirmed that attorney Mr Brettler “enters this special appearance on behalf of Prince Andrew.”

The lawyer will attend the pre-trial hearing, set to begin at 9pm UK time, “for the purpose for contesting purported service of process and challenging jurisdiction.”

HOLLYWOOD LAWYER HIRED

Ms Roberts claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s former friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the prince.

At the time of the allegation, she says she was 17 – a minor under US law.

Andrew, who vehemently denies the accusation, took part in a shooting party yesterday.

He hosted guests at the Queen’s private 550-acre Balmoral estate despite the legal challenge facing him.

Those invited to the ­Scottish retreat are thought to have included the Crown Prince of Bahrain, 51, who is linked to human rights abuses in his home country.

He hosted the gathering as The Sun revealed Ms Roberts’ lawyers claim they have secured the testimony of two key witnesses who say they saw Andrew with her on two separate occasions.

The Prince stated in a disastrous Newsnight interview in 2019 that he had “no recollection” of meeting Ms Giuffre.

He told Emily Maitlis: “I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.”

FURY AT PALACE

Royal aides are said to be furious he fled his Windsor home last week and arrived at his mum’s summer home.

They fear it makes it look to Brits as if the monarch is harbouring him.

One royal source last night said: “This is so brazen it is unbelievable.

“Prince Andrew is carrying on like nothing has happened and as if he hasn’t got a care in the world.

“It has been bad enough that he appears to have been seeking refuge at Balmoral, where the Queen is trying to have quiet time after a tough year, but to host a shooting party – with some dubious guests – shows disrespect to the monarchy.

“And it is also tone deaf as if he does not care about what is going on with the legal case.”

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Hollywood-based Andrew B. Brettler will attend a hearing todayCredit: ANDREW B BRETTLER
The Duke, pictured with Ms Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, vehemently denies the accusation
The Duke, pictured with Ms Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, vehemently denies the accusation

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