Fox clubbing QC Jolyon Maugham faces questions over crowdfunding lawsuits as ministers target him over concerns the practice is being abused
- Jolyon Maugham is the most talked-about exponent of political crowdfunding
- He uses the internet to ask a large number of people to donate small sums of money
- They have to fund a series of highly political cases through his Good Law Project
- Includes challenges to Brexit and lawsuits accusing government of ‘favorite politics’
A left-wing lawyer, responsible for a series of controversial crowdfunded legal actions, is targeted by ministers out of concern that the practice is being abused.
Jolyon Maugham is the most talked-about exponent of crowdfunding – the use of the internet to ask a large number of people to donate small sums of money – to fund a range of highly political causes through his Good Law Project.
They include legal challenges to Brexit and lawsuits accusing the government of ‘friendship’ in awarding Covid contracts.
Maugham, who caused a furore on Boxing Day 2019 by tweeting that he killed a fox with a baseball bat while wearing his wife’s satin kimono after it ended up in his hen house, says crowdfunding “gives normal people a modest tool” with which to use we are trying to keep the government on the right track’.
Jolyon Maugham is the most talked-about exponent of crowdfunding – he uses the internet to ask a large number of people to donate small sums of money – to fund a range of highly political causes through his Good Law Project
However, government experts have warned Attorney General Robert Buckland that the lack of regulation could lead to money donated for one purpose being diverted to another.
A government source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There are some major problems in this almost completely unregulated area.
‘People often don’t know exactly what they are financing and whether a business has the slightest chance of success.
Worse still, the way donations can be reused when a judge awards the costs means that donations to one cause can actually fund something completely unrelated and that the donor can have strong ethical objections to.
“You could donate to fund a cause that seeks stronger protections for animals like foxes, only to see your money indirectly funding a cause to make it easier for children to get medical treatment that helps them get off sex.” to change.’
The source said officials were particularly concerned about the growing practice of crowdfunding applications for judicial review, forcing the government to “waste time and resources fighting undeserved but popular claims.”
Mr Maugham was accused of hypocrisy for leading the ‘value for money’ crowdfunding challenge to the appointment of Tory peer Dido Harding as head of NHS Test and Trace – he said the proper use of public money was ‘the fundamental issue’ ‘ was behind his campaign – after it was revealed that he has been working to minimize the tax liabilities of millionaires.
Mr Maugham was accused of hypocrisy for leading the ‘value for money’ crowdfunding challenge to the appointment of Tory peer Dido Harding (pictured) as head of NHS Test and Trace. his campaign – after it was revealed that he has worked to minimize the tax liabilities of millionaires
Maugham represented the super-wealthy in efforts to evade around £1 billion in taxes, promoting him as an expert in “tax avoidance transactions.”
His clients included participants in the Eclipse tax avoidance scheme used by celebrities and sports stars to try to avoid £635 million in taxes using tax credits intended to benefit the film industry.
He also represented a wealthy individual who used a scheme called Icebreaker to avoid £120 million in tax, and a French financier in London who used the Goldcrest film scheme to avoid about £8 million in tax.
Last night he said: ‘The Good Law Project has used crowdfunding to expose the shoddy granting of PPE contracts to donors and to undo the illegitimate attempt to deceive the Queen and cancel parliament.
“Mr. Buckland’s government seems allergic to scrutiny.”