Wednesday 21 March 2018

Uber flags down TfL nemesis lawyer to head up appeal against London ban

New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Tim Wallace

Uber has hired top barrister Thomas de la Mare to lead the ride-hailing app’s appeal against its London ban, picking a QC who has successfully fought Transport for London (TfL) before.

The company, which on Friday received notice from the capital’s transport regulator that its operating licence would not be renewed, has also drafted in law firm Hogan Lovells.

Earlier this year, Mr de la Mare led a case for Uber that resulted in two of three restrictions on the private hire industry being declared unlawful. TfL had wanted drivers to be insured for private hire even when they were not being used to ferry passengers, and a requirement for a complaints telephone line was also thrown out. Uber failed to have an English language test thrown out, however.

Uber is lodging an appeal after TfL ruled that the company failed to meet several licensing criteria. Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, backed London Mayor Sadiq Khan, saying that Uber could avoid the revocation by following TfL’s demands.

More than 650,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Mayor to reverse the decision, and more than half of Uber’s 40,000 London drivers have also written to Mr Khan’s office.

TfL declined to comment.

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