Blair Berk, who is also known as “The Rottweiler”, is said to be running the Duke of York’s defence strategy in case he will face formal charges over the rape allegations from Virginia Giuffre, sources claimed to The Mirror. It comes as the legal counsel who represent Ms Giuffre said in a document filed in a New York court that legal papers were handed to a Metropolitan Police officer who was on duty at the main gates of The Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, on August 27 at 9.30am. The filing says this is “consistent with the provisions for service upon an individual defendant, under Section 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules, as required by the Supreme Court of Judicature in England & Wales”.
However, Blackfords, who said they represent the duke “in certain UK matters”, raised questions in an email on September 6 about how the papers were served.
In a document, they wrote: “We reiterate that our client reserves all his rights, including to contest the jurisdiction of the US courts (including on the basis of potentially defective service).”
A US judge will ultimately determine whether the papers were properly delivered.
Judge Lewis Kaplan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York will hold the first pretrial conference in the case on a teleconference on Monday.
Ms Giuffre claimed Andrew sexually abused her on three occasions when she was 17.
She also lodged a civil lawsuit on August 9 in New York seeking substantial damages after accusing him of “rape in the first degree”.
Her lawyer David Boies added Andrew “cannot hide behind wealth and palace walls”.
Andrew has previously denied all the allegations.
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Buckingham Palace previously said in a statement: “It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts [now Giuffre].
“Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
Epstein was charged in July 2019 with sexually exploiting dozens of girls and women.
But later, in August that year, he killed himself in prison while awaiting trial.