Legal Business Blogs

Hogan Lovells in the driver’s seat for Uber as TfL challenged

Hogan Lovells is acting for Uber in its legal challenge to new car hire rules issued by Transport for London (TfL).

Uber wants to review the latest guidelines brought in for private hire cars which would introduce stricter rules on the company. Uber has written to TfL challenging the new rules.

The regulations on minicabs include written English tests for drivers – to be introduced from October, insurance for drivers for the entire time that their vehicle is licensed and informing TfL of any changes to Uber’s the operating model or app.

Hogan Lovells partner Paul Dacam is instructing Blackstone Chambers’ Tom de la Mare QC and Hanif Mussa on the challenge.

TfL is being represented by its in-house team and has instructed Martin Chamberlain QC of Brick Court to lead the matter.

The ridesharing company has faced a series of legal challenges to its business model across the globe. Recently its UberPop service was blocked by courts in France and Germany and Uber pulled out of Hungary in July following the imposition of new protectionist legislation on transport apps.

Uber has expanded its legal team in the UK over the past 12 months since the hiring of Matt Wilson as general counsel for UK, Ireland and the Nordics in July 2015.

Wilson, who featured in the 2016 GC Powerlist, has already had to deal with a series of disputes arising from Uber’s model and the challenges of new regulations that aim to preserve London’s black cab industry. In October Uber defeated a High Court challenge from TfL over the legality of its app in London.

A TfL spokesman said: “We responded to Uber’s letter and will be robustly defending the legal proceedings brought by them in relation to the changes to private hire regulations. These have been introduced to enhance public safety when using private hire services and we are determined to create a vibrant taxi and private hire market with space for all providers to flourish.”