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‘Timescales remain uncertain’ for 11,000 London taxi drivers hoping to recover losses against Uber

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

‘Timescales remain uncertain’ for thousands of London taxi drivers signed up to action looking to recover losses as a result of Uber’s operations.

Approximately 11,000 London black cab drivers have signed up to join an action, which is seeking to recover losses incurred as a result of Uber’s operations between June 2012 and March 2018.

The Group Legal Action being brought by London cabbies against ride-hailing firm Uber has recently concluded discussions on funding and ATE insurance, which will cover ALL legal costs of nearly 11,000 taxi drivers should they win or lose.

RGL BULit21, the firm leading the action against the ride-hailing app, announced that a funder will pay for the legal costs of the Court action. The ATE insurance (and additional security) will protect drivers from having to pay Uber’s legal costs if the claims are not successful.

The group were however adamant that the claim is ‘progressing as it should be’ despite the slow down due to future court cases.

A BULit21 spokesperson said: “Timescales will remain uncertain until the legal proceedings are commenced in Court later this year. Everything is progressing as it should be.”

RGL reported that the funder’s profit share has been reduced from 30% to 27.5%. This increases each of the 11,000 drivers’ share of any ultimate outcome.

The legal firm were also quick to confirm there will be no implications on their own action following the result of a recent High Court judgment involving the taxi industry and ride-hailing operator Uber.

In a landmark ruling at the beginning of December 2021, the High Court Administrative Court refused Uber’s application, declaring its gig-economy business model must change.

Uber, despite the Supreme Court worker rights ruling, sought a declaration from the High Court that it is lawful for Uber’s drivers to continue to contract directly with Uber’s passengers for transport services. Uber had argued that its role was confined merely to that of an internet booking agent and that it was not party to any contract for the provision of transport.

The ruling has now fundamentally restructured the private hire industry in London as almost all 1,832 TfL licensed operators had previously used the model of operation since the industry first came under regulatory supervision in 2002.

Clarifying the implications, a BULit21 spokesperson said in December 2021: “One or two drivers have asked us if the recent judgment against Uber in the UK High Court, would have any impact on the claims being brought under the BULit21 group action. The simple answer is ‘no it will not’.

“The BULit21 drivers’ claims will be legal claims against Uber for losses incurred between June 2012 and March 2018. Succeeding against Uber in the Courts will prove nothing more (or less) than Uber caused black cab drivers to suffer these past losses. Succeeding will not provide Uber with any benefit for the future.

“If or how Uber is licensed (or not) in the future is a matter for TfL – this cannot be determined by the BULit21 claims against Uber by cab drivers for past losses.”


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