Francis Hoar, lawyer to the cranks, has an unenviable record of losing almost every case he’s involved in. But with clients billed up to £400 an hour for his services, he and his fellow lawyers seem to be profiting from crowdfunding for cases that are often futile and unwinnable.
It started in April 2020, when Francis Hoar wrote an article saying lockdown was “disproportionate” and could be in breach of the Human Rights Act. The article prompted Simon Dolan to launch a legal challenge against lockdown, and Francis Hoar became junior counsel on the case.
Side note: showing what a small world it is, Francis Hoar’s article included a “thanks” to Dr Robert Craig for “comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of the article”. As well as being a lecturer on constitutional law, Robert is the brother of .. HART co-founder Clare Craig!
Dolan’s campaign raised a staggering £427k in crowdfunding plus £65k in corporate donations. But after dragging on for a year, losing at every stage, the case ended up costing £560k in legal fees plus £120k defence costs. Leaving Dolan out of pocket, but his lawyers well paid.
In April 2021, Francis Hoar represented a man in a case against mask rules at his daughter’s school. A few weeks later a judge refused to issue an injunction, on the basis that the girl wasn’t actually required to wear a mask. £48k was crowdfunded for this pointless case.
Francis Hoar’s case relied heavily on “witness statements” from HART members Zenobia Storah and Simone Plaut. In his ruling, the judge commented that “it is clear .. the views expressed do not represent universal scientific and medical views”. Which is putting it mildly.
Amusingly, thanks to #HARTleaks, we also now know that Francis Hoar was still asking HART for “papers on masks for a submission to court” .. on the morning he filed his final written submissions for the case to the court! Talk about leaving your homework to the last minute.
In August 2021, Francis Hoar was one of the lawyers arguing for a judicial review of vaccine mandates for care home workers. Law or Fiction raised £68k in crowdfunding for the case. A judge refused their application. They appealed. The second judge also ruled against them.
Also in August 2021, Francis Hoar started work on the Covid 19 Assembly’s case calling for a judicial review to stop 12-15 year olds being able to get vaccinated against covid. Hoar is a member of the Covid 19 Assembly’s advisory board, alongside HART’s Clare Craig.
Fronted by Bev Turner, the case crowdfunded £113k and dragged on for almost a year, losing at every stage. Eventually they gave up after their appeal was dismissed by a judge who said they had “no realistic prospect of success”. They ended up paying over £100k in defence costs.
It’s no surprise they lost, as Hoar and his not-so-learned friends had relied on witness statements from unemployed pathologist Clare Craig and American crank Peter McCullough for evidence. They also cited Tess Lawrie, the UKMFA, and Michael Yeadon’s Doctors 4 Covid Ethics.
In September 2021, Francis Hoar became involved in the bizarre case of Sam White. White had posted a wild “resignation” video in June, saying he was quitting his job as an NHS GP because of covid “lies”. He then complained when the NHS stopped him doing locum work for them.
But having crowdfunded £155k for the case, Hoar’s only work for Sam White seems to have been overturning a GMC ban on him posting covid disinformation on social media. White took full advantage of this ruling, and is now an advisor to anti-vax group Children’s Health Defense.
This is the only covid case I’ve seen that Francis Hoar actually won, with the judge ruling the GMC’s decision was “wrong from a purely procedural perspective”, while saying nothing about White’s “whistleblowing” claims, which were all just nonsense he’d read on the internet.
As a result, the GMC paid White’s legal fees, which were at least £25k. So what happened to the £155k crowdfunding? Updates are vague, but suggest it was used for other cases, including Mark Sexton’s ludicrous “crime report” against the vaccine programme, which White is part of.
Since then Mark Sexton has issued fake arrest warrants for prominent politicians and public figures, and incited his followers to “use force as necessary” to “arrest” them. How do @CrowdJustice feel about their platform possibly funding this campaign?
(Former cop turned covid conspiracy nut Mark Sexton put out a call to his followers this weekend, telling them to prepare to start “arresting” ministers and public officials. This comes after police forces unsurprisingly continued to ignore his ridiculous anti-vax “crime report”.
*Mark Sexton has spent months wasting police time by making criminal complaints against the covid vaccine programme and bombarding them with “evidence”, aided by cranks such as NHS100k and HART members Sam White, Michael Yeadon and Anna de Buisseret.)
In January 2022, Francis Hoar may also have been involved in Together’s campaign against vaccine mandates for NHS staff. The case crowdfunded £68k but never went to court, as mandates were withdrawn in March. Hoar is now one of Together’s directors and owns 20% of the company.
Despite never seeing court, the lawyers claim to have only had “just over” £10k left from the £68k (minus the website’s fees) that they raised for the case on Crowd Justice. Again, they funneled that left over money into yet another case, against vaccinating children…
Which brings us to May 2022, when Francis Hoar represented HART spin-off the Children’s Covid Vaccine Advisory Council in a last minute call for a judicial review of vaccinating 5-11 year olds. Another £51k was raised for this case, on top of the £10k left from Together’s case.
The case ended in July, when a judge dismissed their request for a judicial review as “totally without merit”. Unsurprising, as Hoar’s “expert witness” was retired paediatrician and HART, UsForThem and CCVAC member Ros Jones. Ros admitted she wasn’t an expert. The judge agreed.
Since April 2020 Francis Hoar has worked on cases that blew £1,000,000 in donations and sometimes cost his clients even more money on top of that, representing a tangled network of interlinked groups, some of which he’s also a member of. But at least the lawyers got rich.