Taxi drivers

Official litigation process set to ‘START SOON’ as taxi drivers seek to recoup losses from Uber

Thousands of London taxi drivers have signed up for action to recover losses from Uber’s operations between 2012 and 2018, and they will be updated shortly as the formal litigation process is expected to “begin soon”.

Around 11,000 black taxi drivers in London have signed up to join an action to recover losses suffered as a result of Uber’s operations between June 2012 and March 2018.

The class action lawsuit brought by London taxi drivers against ridesharing company Uber has recently concluded talks over ATE funding and insurance, which will cover ALL legal costs for nearly 11,000 taxi drivers they win or lose.

RGL BULit21, the company leading the action against the ride-hailing app, announced that a funder will pay the legal costs of the lawsuit. ATE insurance (and additional coverage) will prevent drivers from having to pay Uber’s legal fees if claims are unsuccessful.

A BULit21 spokesperson said via social media: “We expect the formal litigation process to begin soon. In the meantime, London Black Cab drivers (2012-2018) can continue to register.

“We plan to send the next newsletter to subscribers very soon.”

RGL reported that the funder’s profit share was reduced from 30% to 27.5%. This increases the share of each of the 11,000 drivers in any final result.

The law firm also quickly confirmed that there would be no implications on its own action following the outcome of a recent High Court judgment involving the taxi industry and ride-sharing operator Uber.

In a landmark decision from early December 2021, the High Court Administrative Tribunal dismissed Uber’s claim, saying its gig-economy business model must change.

Uber, despite the Supreme Court ruling on workers’ rights, has sought a High Court declaration that it is legal for Uber drivers to continue to contract directly with Uber passengers for ride services . Uber had argued that its role was limited to that of a simple Internet booking agent and that it was not a party to any transport service contract.

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

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

“BULit21 drivers’ claims will be legal claims against Uber for losses incurred between June 2012 and March 2018. Winning a case against Uber in court will not prove anything more (or less) than Uber did to drivers of black cabs these past losses. Succeeding will not give Uber any benefit going forward.

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