Uber launches appeal against London licence refusal

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By Katie King on

Provisional date set for what could be the most headline-hitting case since Article 50

Uber has launched an appeal against Transport for London (TfL) and its decision not to renew the cab-hailing app’s licence. A spokesperson from the judiciary told Legal Cheek the papers were filed at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this morning.

A provisional hearing date has been set for 11 December, exactly one year and one week after the Supreme Court sat to hear the big legal case of 2016: the Gina Miller Article 50 challenge. Early signs show the Uber case may be equally exciting.

Expect it to involve some of the country’s best City lawyers. It was Mishcon de Reya representing Gina Miller last year, and now it’s Hogan Lovells acting for Uber. Holborn-based outfit Hogan Lovells did reconfirm to Legal Cheek this morning that it’s acting in the case, but had nothing more to add.

The case centres on events that took place at the end of September, when TfL stripped the app of its licence because of a “lack of corporate responsibility”. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a former human rights lawyer, said at the time that “providing an innovative service is not an excuse for it being unsafe”, and has since revealed he’s never knowingly used Uber.

Though reaction to the news was mixed (see our Twitter poll below), the company has been allowed to operate while application to appeal was pending.

Now the appeal has been lodged, the app-based service will continue to be allowed to operate. Here is a statement sent to us by Uber:

While we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London. As our new CEO has said, we are determined to make things right.

Uber says 3.5 million people in London have downloaded its app and have used it at least once in the past year. The service tends to be favoured by students, American research showing 37% of users are 16-24, compared to 28% aged 25-34, 17% aged 35-44, 12% aged 45-54 and 6% 55-64.

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