Brexit legal challenge barrister to launch pro bono project to keep government in check

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“I feel uncomfortable with the direction our country is going in”, says Jolyon Maugham QC


A leading tax silk is gearing up to launch a new pro bono project that he claims will make sure government is accountable to the public.

Jolyon Maugham QC — who is a tenant at London’s Devereux Chambers — has set up the Good Law Project, a not for profit organisation which claims it will bring “legal challenges” against the government.

Legal Cheek readers will recognise Maugham as the man behind two successful Brexit crowdfunding campaigns.

The first, launched back in June, raised the legal fees of a number of secondary claimants to the Miller case. Known as the ‘People’s Challenge’, the case concluded in the Supreme Court this week.

But Maugham’s crowdfunding exploits won’t be away from the courtroom for too long. His ‘A Brexit for the 100%’ campaign has funded a case on Article 50 notification and whether it can be revoked. This is due to kick off in the Irish High Court at the end of the month.

Maugham is clearly a busy bee. But — still juggling his working commitments as a silk — he has found the time to launch his new pro bono initiative.

Speaking to Legal Cheek, the top barrister revealed he feels “uncomfortable with the direction the country is going in” and hopes to address this through the Good Law Project. Questioning whether the government is really “acting in our best interests”, he continued:

I feel I have been having a real impact in tax law and Brexit and still believe there is so much more that needs to be done. I asked myself ‘how could I do more?’

Hoping to have the project fully operational by the end of February, Maugham will finance it through a combination of large funders and monthly contributions. He explained:

We are speaking to some bigger funders that I hope will fund the organisation in the short term. However a lot of people across the country feel the same way as I do, and it is difficult for them to find an outlet for their shared concern. I hope in the medium term these people will want to support the project by making a small monthly donation.

Maugham needed a helping hand to get the whole thing off the ground. Having advertised for paid interns on Legal Cheek’s Hub last year, Maugham quickly secured the services of Tom Parker. One of four interns, recent University of Nottingham graduate Parker revealed to us that he has already been chucked in at the deep end.

Aspiring barrister Parker said that the internship offers a nice mixture of “advocacy and litigation” with more “tech-based aspects” as the team gets the site ready for its full launch in February.

You can find more information on Maugham’s project here.

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“I feel uncomfortable with the direction our country is going in.”

Fuck off, then.



Why don’t you fuck off yourself? Preferably to the Netherlands, where they could tell you to fuck off again.



Why should I fuck off? I’m perfectly comfortable with the direction the country is going in.



It makes me sad to think about the torment that your obvious insecurities must put you through.



Then why have a referendum if the answer to every “I’m not happy” statement is “fuck off then”?



Yes my darling, and that direction is towards me. Come to daddy


Not Amused


But I’m really not comfortable with him using a charity as a vehicle for this. This seems to me to be far too close to a political purpose to me.


Jolyon Maugham QC

Don’t worry. It’s not a charity.



Just free publicity


Bert the chipper chimney-sweep (genuine honest-to-goodness salt-of-the-earth working class, guv'nor!)

🎼Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Jolyon…

Pretending that he’s working class…

He knows better than the ordin-arys….

Some say he’s just up his own 🎤

This post has been moderated because it breached Legal Cheeks comments policy.



A not-for-profit that relies on crowdfunding 🙂



I’m confused. Is this really pro bono?

From the website:

“For so long as I am the Director of the Project it may, as and when its finances sensibly permit, pay me a salary. That salary will never be more than that received by a backbench Member of Parliament.”



So, no, it’s not pro bono at all.


Multi millions made from representing Tax Avoidance Celebrities.

Says he is a working class lad with that name but father is a Eton best selling author.

Yeah right!



Hasn’t he made it clear that his father was not in the picture for most of his childhood?

And why does having money/wealthy background preclude someone from caring about what Brexit may do to the country, for better or worse?



Questioning whether the government is really “acting in our best interests”

Of course our dear crusader Jolyon is acting in our best interests – He knows best after all!



If he is so concerned why does he crowd-fund ? Surely if his concerns where so great he would be working tirelessly and without seeking remuneration for the ‘greater good’?

Oh yeah, that’s right, he isn’t acting pro-bono or for the greater good, he is simply taking advantage of those who strongly oppose Brexit to raise his own profile and earn some rather easy money.



Hit Nail On Proverbial Head.



Let’s all protect our vested £££ / €€€interests



Is this an attempt at irony? Of course a vote for remain was a vote to protect our interests, just as a vote for leave was a vote for alternative facts, propaganda and directionless twaddle. How could anyone who voted leave know what the outcome would be, or the intended outcome was? There were a million different variants of the ‘UK post Brexit’ recipe.

Our beloved Not Amused, wants to protect the vested interests of the City and the lawyers, never mind anyone else. This is fundamentally undemocratic.



If millionaire tax barrister Jolyon Maugham buys a tie then I might start to take him seriously.



He can’t wear a tie. He’s working class.


Charlotte Proudcock

I wonder who dear Jolyon’s ‘ego Charidee’ will then instruct on these cases…?


Feel a bit sick

I wouldn’t dream of calling myself working class in an attempt to make my back story better, and my beginnings were significantly more humble than this fellow’s (even leaving the Etonian father out of the equation).

Helpful hint: if your parents met at university in the 70s, you are not working class.


Worker of Counsel

What about if they met at Polytechnic night-classes in the 70s having left school at 15 to get a job to support the family?


Feel a bit sick

Mmmkay, it’s vaguely conceivable. But I sincerely doubt Papa Etonian left school at 15, then hit the Polytechnic at night. Plus Jolyon’s claim to being working class was that mummy wasn’t earning as she was still at university.

Nobody can be blamed for being advantaged in life. But I despise people who play at being disadvantaged. They do genuinely disadvantaged people a real disservice, in the service of their own egos.



The problem lies with the phrase ‘working class’.

If he said he had a humble upbringing people wouldn’t take issue. Or even if he said he grew up in relative poverty. But that doesn’t make you working class.



Jeez, everyone is so cynical on LC. Someone like Susskind deserves it, but surely a project like this is needed in this day and age of justice for the rich?

Ok, I get that Jolyon talks social justice on the one hand while helping rich people avoid taxes on the other. But that doesn’t detract from this worthy project.



If his political leanings are transparent and no-one is forced to contribute, I don’t see the problem. It’s no different to 38 Degrees is it? Pro Bono being a cheap marketing tool is hardly a new concept.



I’m concerned that ‘a leading tax silk’ ends sentences in prepositions.



What fun it is to jibe and swear when you can’t muster an intelligent argument instead! Only fools would diminish a really good idea by dismissing the speaker as being too posh, for not wearing a tie, being too well educated … an endless list of stupidities.

Maugham is looking at using legal influence in areas such as health and pollution and unfairness in government pension policy. These should be primary considerations for any responsible government but as we have seen of late, the law has a far better handle on democracy and the national interest than our self-serving political leaders.

The Tories will do what they always do: design the political landscape to keep themselves and their rich friends masturbating over ever-more bloated wallets, while impoverished millions suffer insecurity, drudgery and a disappearing retirement to fund their exploitative misrule. I support Maugham in his ambition to redress some of the deliberate inequalities and injustices we face in this damaged nation. Why is that such a bad idea?



So nice to see challenged adolescents contributing.



You can make no contribution to the subject then? Just a silly playground insult.
I think you have just proved his / her point about dumb comments, haven’t you?



Shut it Jolyon…



I’m confused. Is this really pro bono?

From the website:

“For so long as I am the Director of the Project it may, as and when its finances sensibly permit, pay me a salary. That salary will never be more than that received by a backbench Member of Parliament.”


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