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TAXI DRIVERS' UBER CLAIM FOR LOSS OF EARNINGS: How winnable is the case against a company like Uber?

Updated: May 6

Over 10,500 licensed black cab drivers, represented by RGL Management, have launched legal action against ride-hailing giant Uber. The lawsuit, filed in the High Court under the title ‘BULiT21’, accuses Uber of causing significant losses due to its allegedly unlawful operations in London between May 2012 and March 2018.

The lawsuit raised questions about the feasibility of taking on a company as large as Uber. When Anthony Street, Executive at the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), inquired about the lawsuit's prospects in TAXI Newspaper, an RGL Management spokesperson highlighted that Uber has faced recent defeats in court but emphasised that each case will be judged on its own merits.

The spokesperson noted that pursuing legal action against large businesses is challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. However, they added that bringing a claim as part of a large group is more effective. RGL Management specialises in litigation, with expertise in law, investment banking, and corporate operational management. The spokesperson assured that the BULiT21 group is well-funded and insured, with strong legal representation to match Uber's resources, creating a level playing field for the case.

The spokesperson also highlighted that funders and insurers only back claims if they are confident of winning, as they only get paid if successful.

The group action alleges that Uber improperly obtained a Private Hire Vehicle Licence from Transport for London (TfL) under the terms of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1988. The claimants argue that Uber's operating system did not comply with the Act's requirements, that Uber was aware of this, and that the company misled TfL to obtain its licence. They allege Uber aimed to gain market share unlawfully, thereby harming black cab drivers.

The legal filing in the Commercial Court represents 10,887 cabbies, with expectations that more will join, potentially pushing the claim's value beyond £250 million, including interest.

An RGL Management spokesperson said: “As some drivers will know, Uber has suffered some recent (and very significant) defeats in Court. However, the Courts will decide each different case against Uber on its own merits.

“Pursuing legal action against large businesses and corporations is an extremely difficult, time consuming and expensive endeavour. Bringing a claim as one of a large group of claimants is far more effective. RGL Management are litigation specialists, with extensive expertise in law, investment banking, corporate operational management and claimant communication, all of which are essential when managing a large complex legal action. The BULit21 claimant drivers’ group is now armed with the necessary funding and insurance, and is represented by a top legal team, so as to match Uber’s lawyers and resources. This provides the fire power necessary to create the level playing field essential for any legal claim to have good prospects against a large, well-financed target.

“Moreover, funders and insurers back legal claims with their significant financial resources only if they are confident of winning (because that is the only way they will get paid).”


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