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

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By Thomas Connelly on

“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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