Over 10,000 London taxi drivers have now registered for a group legal action against ride-hailing firm Uber that could net them in the region of £25,000 per taxi driver if successful.

Supported by litigation specialist RGL Management and Mishcon de Reya, the group of black cab drivers involved in the litigation is growing rapidly, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The basis of the claim is that Uber operated unlawfully by breaching the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 from June 2012 until March 2018. The group allege that Uber permitted drivers to accept bookings directly when they were not licensed to do so.

Any licensed green or yellow badge cab driver operating in the London area between June 2012 and March 2018 is eligible to join the group. RGL calculates up to 30,000 drivers are eligible and that for a full-time driver operating throughout this period, a claim against Uber could be worth in the region of £25,000 or more.

In an update provided to BULit21 members, a spokesperson said: “BULit21 Membership continues to grow every day, and with many cabbies now starting to return to work, the rate of growth of registrations is expected to increase over the coming months.”

To raise awareness of the campaign, a selection of taxi drivers supporting the claim attended Uber Headquarters in London. Cabbies were seen holding banners marking the 10,000 registrations landmark.

Dale Forwood, a cab driver for 8 years who has joined the action, said: “It is really encouraging to see so many of my fellow cabbies sign up in such a short period of time and this rapid growth shows no sign of slowing down. I’m confident that we can build on this momentum and make sure that Uber is held accountable for acting unlawfully at the expense of hard-working cabbies like myself. I am telling every colleague I meet to join us and seek compensation as the more involved, the better.”

RGL calculates that a further 20,000 drivers may remain eligible to join the group and have not yet signed up.

Garry White, a black cab driver for 33 years, said: “I am very proud to be part of the BULit21 campaign, seeking justice and fair compensation on behalf of cab drivers across London. By partnering with RGL, we are able to offer cabbies the ability to challenge Uber’s unjustifiable behaviour at no risk to themselves. We abide by the law and expect others to do so too. Uber did not and cabbies across London suffered lost earnings because of it. I’m confident that this is our chance to challenge a huge injustice.”

James Hayward, CEO, RGL Management, said: “The rapid growth of this claimant group really is testament to the number of cabbies who suffered at the hands of Uber’s failure to adhere to the relevant legislation. Having ten thousand on board is a landmark moment and we expect sign-ups to increase substantially in the coming weeks.

“We are extremely confident in the merits of the claim and are lending the BULit21 group our full support and deep expertise in bringing large and complex legal actions to court. There are still thousands of cabbies eligible to join and I urge them to get in touch to receive compensation at no financial risk.”

All drivers who believe they may be eligible should visit BULit21 for more information and details of how to register.

*By Perry Richardson, Taxi Point UK*