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TAXI DRIVERS’ £250m UBER CLAIM: What happens if Uber were to appeal any future result of a claim?

More than 10,500 licensed black cab drivers, through RGL Management, have initiated a High Court challenge against Uber. The case, called ‘BULiT21’, accuses the ride-hailing behemoth of unlawfully impacting their business from May 2012 to March 2018.

Since its announcement, many questions around the claim have emerged. One of those questions includes what happens if Uber appeals any result.

A spokesperson from RGL Management outlined the procedure for appeals during a recent interview in TAXI Newspaper. It was explained that if Uber challenges a judgment in their favour at the first instance, the legal team would defend the original ruling in the Court of Appeal. To financially back this defence, litigation funders and insurers are poised to cover the costs and protect the drivers from any financial liability. This arrangement is primarily due to the economic benefits of sustaining the initial victory.

The RGL spokesperson said: “If there is an appeal against the “first instance” judgment, i.e. the Judge decides that Uber should pay cabbies’ losses, but that judgment is then appealed by Uber to the Court of Appeal, then our legal team would obviously have to prepare and argue that the first instance judgment is correct and Uber’s appeal should not succeed.

“The litigation funder would fund the costs of the appeal and the insurers would insure drivers against losing the appeal such that drivers would not have to pay anything. The funder and insurers would do this, because it would be very much in their financial interest to protect/confirm the “win” achieved before the Judge at first instance.”

At the centre of the drivers' claim is an alleged ‘unlawful means conspiracy’, rooted in Uber's tactics to secure a Private Hire Vehicle Licence from Transport for London (TfL). According to the claimants, Uber's operating system did not meet the standards set by the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1988. The claim asserts that Uber was aware of these discrepancies and intentionally misled TfL to gain its licence.

As the case unfolds the number of participating cabbies has reached 10,887. With more expected to join, the total claim could surpass £250 million, including interest.


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