Who is Andrew Green? The ‘Beast’ lawyer ‘planning to tear Prince Harry’s case to shreds’ at High Court

Duke of Sussex likely ‘won’t realise he’s edged the ball’ during historic cross-examination, barrister tells The Independent

Andy Gregory
Wednesday 07 June 2023 07:18 BST
Andrew Green KC is ‘old enough to be experienced but young enough still to be hungry’, a barrister told The Independent
Andrew Green KC is ‘old enough to be experienced but young enough still to be hungry’, a barrister told The Independent (Shutterstock)

Prince Harry is set to be the first royal in 130 years to undergo cross-examination in a British court this week, in a blockbuster legal battle with the Mirror publisher over alleged phone hacking.

As he enters the witness box in a historic showdown on Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex will face Andrew Green KC, the renowned barrister acting on behalf of Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

Mr Green, who has fought various high-profile cases in his 35 years at the Bar, will be seeking to “tear his case to shreds”, a High Court barrister told Sky News on Monday – as a former adversary warned The Independent that the duke may not even realise if he slips up during cross-examination.

Follow our The Independent’s live coverage of the case for all the latest updates

Having been awarded silk in 2010 – the honour bestowed upon only elite lawyers – Mr Green has previously been described as a “beast in court”, in remarks publicised on his profile at Blackstone Chambers.

He is ranked by the Legal 500 as among the top barristers in various areas of law, including commercial litigation, banking and finance, international arbitration, financial services, and media and entertainment.

The website describes him as “a fearless and fearsome cross-examiner”, and “an opponent to be feared, with a punchy and aggressive court style”, who is “particularly at home with cross-examination” and possesses “an Eye of Sauron-like focus on client expectations”.

Having represented the likes of Mungo Jerry and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell in media-related cases, Mr Green is also known for leading a major investigation on behalf of the Financial Conduct Authority in 2015, into regulatory decision-making following the collapse of banking giant HBOS.

Mr Green was subsequently appointed as a specialist adviser to MPs on the Treasury select committee, which asked him in 2016 to review a fundamental legal principle in financial inquiries.

The Duke of Sussex is due to appear in court
The Duke of Sussex is due to appear in court (PA Wire)

A leading barrister and previous adversary told The Independent Mr Green will be “all over the detail” of the hacking case.

“He’ll be extremely well-prepared – I expect rather better than Prince Harry reckons he’s going to be,” they added.

Mr Green will be relishing the rare prospect of cross-examining a royal, the barrister suggested, noting Mr Green is “old enough to be experienced but young enough still to be hungry”.

Princess Diana and Michael Barrymore met ‘secretly’ in 1997, letters read out in court on Monday suggest
Princess Diana and Michael Barrymore met ‘secretly’ in 1997, letters read out in court on Monday suggest (Steve Finn/Getty Images/John Stillwell/AFP via Getty Images)

Describing him as “a good modern barrister” who is not a “self-publicist”, they said Mr Green would have a series of aims for Tuesday’s questioning and could seek to exploit a “very strong tendency now in the English courts essentially to distrust oral testimony”.

He will likely be looking to expose the duke as “an unreliable historian”, they said, adding: “He won’t be doing it, I suspect, in a particularly unpleasant way, but he’ll be showing that, for whatever reason, just because he’s a high profile person, you can’t actually trust what he says.”

“He has quite a conversational tone and I doubt that Prince Harry will see some of the most effective bits coming,” they warned.

“Putting it in cricketing terms, I doubt Prince Harry will realise when he’s edged the ball.”

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