Prince Andrew set to ditch shambolic legal team amid sex assault claim chaos

Prince Andrew is considering dismissing his legal team because he doesn’t like their strategy of refusing to publicly respond to sex assault claims, sources say.

A royal insider told The Mirror that the Duke of York has held crisis talks with his inner circle over the issue.

His accuser Virginia Giuffre alleges she was forced to have sex with the prince in 2001.

She claims she was being trafficked by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein – a former associate of Prince Andrew – at the time.

Ms Giuffre is pursuing the Duke through the US civil courts.

The 61-year-old is scared the resulting legal battle could take years and cost millions of pounds, reports say.

After the infamous Newsnight interview which saw the royal grilled over his relationship with billionaire Epstein, he hired criminal defence solicitor Gary Bloxsome from Blackfords law firm.

But the lawyer is said to have clashed with the prince when Andrew wanted his team to respond to Ms Giuffre’s civil lawsuit with a public denial and they overruled him, the source claims

Prince Andrew has always denied the allegations.

A source close to him said: “The plan, if you can call it a plan, has been shambolic from the start.

“Now it’s all come to a head. He is extremely worried and the crisis talks are so he can get off the back foot. He knows he’s in a full-on crisis.

"The damage to his reputation is there for all to see but now he’s feeling the pressure from his family, though none of them have become directly involved.

"The whole thing’s a disaster.”

Last week, the High Court in London accepted a request from Ms Giuffre’s lawyer to formally contact the Duke about the legal proceedings.

But it is understood the prince’s legal team is still trying to resist the decision and has repeatedly tried to squash attempts to serve the official papers.

A spokesman for Andrew offered no comment.

Blackfords legal firm did not respond to requests for a comment.

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