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LOSS OF EARNINGS: £250million London taxi driver claim against Uber ‘completely unfounded’ says ridehail giants

Updated: May 6



London’s taxi driver claims for losses of earnings are ‘completely unfounded’ says Uber spokesperson in response to £250 million group action against the ridehail giants.


Yesterday, RGL Management announced a significant legal action, dubbed "BULiT21", filed in the High Court on behalf of 10,887 licensed London black cab drivers. This group action seeks compensation for losses incurred from May 2012 to March 2018, attributed to what they claim were Uber's unlawful operations in the capital during that time period.

An Uber spokesperson defended the company, stating: “These old claims are completely unfounded. Uber operates lawfully in London, holds a full TfL license, and serves millions in the capital.”


According to sources, legal communications between RGL Management and Uber began in 2019, with Uber’s lawyers dismissing the allegations as lacking in merit. There had been no further exchanges until the recent escalation to court proceedings.


The drivers' claims centre on accusations that Uber improperly acquired its Private Hire Vehicle Licence from Transport for London (TfL) under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1988. They allege that Uber’s operating system was non-compliant with the Act’s requirements and accuse Uber of deceiving TfL to secure its licence, with the intention of unlawfully increasing market share at the expense of traditional black cab drivers.

This initial claim could expand as RGL Management expects more drivers to join the action, potentially pushing the total claim value above £250 million, including interest.


Licensed green or yellow badge cab drivers in London from June 2012 to at least December 2018 may qualify to join the lawsuit, with potential individual claims exceeding £25,000 for full-time drivers. RGL is actively registering additional claimants, urging drivers to sign up before the impending deadline.


The vast majority of London’s cabbies welcomed the latest escalation after years of waiting since the action was first discussed.


Each claimant stands to reportedly gain thousands of pounds in compensation, with expectation of netting around £18,000 after legal fees and expenses. RGL BULit21 have already successfully put in place funding and After The Event (ATE) insurance. This arrangement ensures that all legal costs for the nearly 11,000 taxi drivers involved will be covered regardless of the lawsuit's outcome. Importantly for cabbies, the arrangement includes a reduction in the funder’s profit share from 30% to 27.5%, thereby increasing the potential payout for each driver involved in the claim.


The financial claim for lost earnings highlights the impact Uber's presence has had on traditional taxi drivers, highlighting the ongoing tensions between the taxi industry and the ridehail giant.


In March a groundbreaking settlement was offered to taxi and hire car drivers, operators, and licence holders in Australia whereby Uber agreed to pay $271.8 million. This settlement marked one of the biggest legal victories globally against Uber and ranked as the fifth largest class action settlement in the history of Australian legal proceedings.


The class action, initiated by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in 2019 on behalf of over 8,000 affected individuals and not linked to the latest London claim, addressed the financial losses incurred due to Uber's aggressive market entry strategies.

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