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In-house: Uber searches for new EMEA GC as Callaghan to step down

Uber’s European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) general counsel Jim Callaghan will step down from his role in June this year.

A spokeswoman for the taxi-app said Amsterdam-based Callaghan had stepped down as a result of ‘family reasons’ and it is understood that the company is currently looking for a replacement.

Callaghan joined Uber just over a year ago from Etihad Airways where he was general counsel and company secretary for seven years. Prior to that he served as director of legal and regulatory affairs at Ryanair from 2000 to 2009 which he joined from Linklaters.

The move comes as Uber faces fresh legal and regulatory setbacks. Just last week the European Court of Justice was ruled the app was a transport company, not just a digital platform.

Uber also hit the headlines last year after it lost a key tribunal case which saw Leigh Day take on DLA Piper in a landmark employment rights claim.

Leigh Day represented Uber drivers on the case calling for drivers to be entitled to national minimum wage and basic holiday pay in a ruling that could affect tens of thousands of drivers. The tribunal ruled the drivers are not self-employed and are entitled to basic employee rights.

The human rights specialist firm acted for the drivers in the case brought by the GMB Union. Lawyer Annie Powell represented the drivers, instructing Thomas Linden QC of Matrix Chambers.

DLA advised Uber on the case, with a team led by UK head of employment Adam Hartley and including Jonathan Ollivent, who is secondment with from DLA. DLA instructed Littleton Chambers David Reade QC to act for the ridehailing company.

Uber, whose legal team is led in the UK by Matthew Wilson, legal director Northern and Eastern Europe, is facing another legal battle with Transport for London (TfL) over the latest guidelines brought in for private hire cars that would introduce stricter rules on the company. Hogan Lovells partner Charles Brasted instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Tom de la Mare QC to advise on the challenge. TfL is being represented by its in-house team and instructed Martin Chamberlain QC of Brick Court on the matter.