Who can join the BULit21 group litigation against Uber
The cost of being involved in BULit21
The legal process
Who can join the BULit21 group litigation against Uber
Q: How do I know if I have suffered a loss which is relevant to BULit21?
A: If you were driving a black cab in London for any period between June 2012 and mid-March 2018, then we believe that you have suffered a loss which means that you have a potential claim in the RGL group litigation.
Q: I have retired from driving a black cab. Can I still be included? Do I still have a claim?
A: Yes, you can still be included – as long as you were driving a black cab in London for any period between June 2012 and mid-March 2018.
Q: Is the action open to black cab drivers outside London?
A: The action is focused on drivers in any area of London – green badge holders and yellow badge holders.
Q: How do I prove that I am eligible? What do you need from me?
Q: I had a friend who was a cabby. He has since passed away. Can his wife or family be involved? Do they have a potential claim?
A: As a general rule, it is likely that his/her estate will have a potential claim. For now, their executor should register, with no cost and no obligation, so that our legal team can assess the potential claim as we progress.
The cost of being involved in BULit21
Q: Does it cost me anything to register?
A: No, there is no cost (and no obligation) as a result of registering. You simply provide some basic contact details (along with photographs of your badge and your DVLA photo driving licence) and we will be in touch shortly afterwards about the next steps. There is no cost or payment required at any point in our process, unless and until your case is successful.
Q: Is this a “no win, no fee” action against Uber?
A: RGL Management will arrange a third party litigation funder to cover all legal and other costs of the BULit21 claimants, and will also ensure that insurance is in place so that BULit21 claimants will not have to pay any “adverse costs” if the claim against Uber is not successful. On success, the funder will deduct an amount from the recoveries, and you will receive your share of the balance. This deduction is the only amount you will pay – it will be payable only on success. If the case does not succeed, you will not pay anything.
Q: How will RGL fund the legal process against Uber?
A: A third party litigation funder that specialises in financing the pursuit of large commercial court claims will pay all the legal and other costs of the action against Uber until judgment (or earlier settlement).
Q: What is in this for the funder, insurers and RGL?
A: If your claim fails, the funder, the insurers and RGL will get nothing. If your and the other drivers’ claims are successful, a proportion will be deducted from the recoveries to pay the funder (from which the funder will pay RGL), the insurers and any other amounts due. This proportion to be deducted on success will reimburse the monies spent on the claims by the funder, pay the insurance premium due to the insurers, pay the lawyers’ any deferred and success fees due and pay the funder’s uplift (profit).
Q: How much will be deducted on success?
A: On success, the funder will deduct an amount that is enough to reimburse what it has spent on the case up to the date of success and pay the premium due to the insurers plus 27.5% of the total amount recovered. RGL is pleased that this deal is better for cabbies than the previous Cabbie Group Action deal (which was 30% not 27.5%). A financial illustration is provided with your Litigation Management Agreement before you decide whether to join the BULit21 group litigation.
Rest assured, you are not required to make any commitment to the litigation before this information is explained in detail and before you expressly agree to it.
Q: If my claim is not successful, will there be any cost to me?
Q: If RGL decides not to progress a claim on my behalf, will there be any cost to me?
Q: Is it possible that the litigation could be successful but the amount awarded is not sufficient to cover some aspects of the costs incurred, so that I might have a financial liability?
A: No. This is not possible. The funding agreement with the funder and the insurance policy with the insurers will make it explicitly clear that the amounts payable to the funder and to the insurers will be payable only if, and only to the extent that, there are funds available to pay. If the litigation is successful, but the total recovery is not sufficient to pay the funder and/or the insurer, their respective entitlement to fees, uplifts and premium will be expressly limited to the litigation recoveries that are available.
Q: If my claim is successful, do I have to pay tax on the amount I receive?
A: Each individual’s liability to pay tax is unique. If this is important to you at this stage, you should seek your own tax advice (RGL is not permitted to give such advice).
Q: When and how will I have to fully commit to take part in the BULit21 group litigation?
A: Once you have registered with BULit21, you will receive further details about the terms of the group litigation. You may also be asked for a brief summary about how you believe Uber caused losses to you personally.
Please always bear in mind, however, that registering does not mean you have to participate in the litigation; you can take this decision once you have received further information, and before signing the Litigation Management Agreement (LMA).
Q: What is the Litigation Management Agreement (LMA)?
The LMA gives us your permission to instruct the legal team on your behalf, and to manage your claim in Court. Each driver must sign his or her LMA to be a part of the Court action.
Signing the LMA also means that RGL can include you in the cover provided by the no-risk insurance policy, and also as part of the litigation funding arrangements for the group action in Court. The litigation funder will pay all the legal and other costs of bringing the claims against Uber.
The legal process
Q: What is the basis of the BULit21 group black cab litigation? What is it all about?
A: The case against Uber will focus on the way it breached the terms of its licence between June 2012 and mid-March 2018, giving rise to claims based on the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998
Q: What type of losses will be claimed?
A: Loss of income will be the primary claim, but drivers who had to work more hours as a result of Uber’s operations between 2012 and 2018 or had to take another job to make the same (pre-Uber) income should also register with BULit21.
Q: How much will the claim be?
A: Each individual claim will be different. An individual driver’s claim could run to £25,000 or more. However, the value of any potential claim you may have will be analysed and evaluated in due course by RGL’s legal team at zero cost and zero risk to you.
Q: How long will it all take?
A: Timescales will remain uncertain until the legal proceedings are commenced in Court, which will be during 2022. Everything is progressing as it should be, given that we had some catching up to do when BULit21 took over from Cabbie Group Action. Progress has also been hindered by Covid-19. Our regular newsletter keeps registrants updated.
Q: What will be the process of the black cab legal action against Uber?
A: The exact process of how a significant number of claims made at the same time against Uber is to be dealt by the Court with will not be known until a Judge considers the relevant “case management” issues. This will become clearer as the proceedings advance in Court, but it is likely the Judge will decide that a small selection of claims should be considered first as “test” cases, rather than hearing all claims all at the same time.
Q: Uber always win in the courts. Why will this be any different?
A: In fact, as drivers will know, Uber has suffered some recent (and very significant) defeats in Court. However, the Courts will decide each different case against Uber on its own merits.
Pursuing legal action against large businesses and corporations is an extremely difficult, time consuming and expensive endeavour. Bringing a claim as one of a large group of claimants is far more effective. RGL Management are litigation specialists, with extensive expertise in law, investment banking, corporate operational management and claimant communication, all of which are essential when managing a large complex legal action. Before legal proceedings are commenced, the BULit21 claimant drivers’ group will be armed with the funding and insurance, and represented by a top legal team, so as to match Uber’s lawyers and resources. This will provide the fire power necessary to create the level playing field essential for any legal claim with prospects against a large, well-financed target. Moreover, funders and insurers back legal claims with their significant financial resources only if they are confident of winning (because that is the only way they will get paid).
Q: What documentation will I need to provide to support my claim against Uber?
A: At the moment it is too early to say what documentation will be required. Suffice to say, you will be expected to provide only those documents that are in your possession or to which you have access and that relate to your claim for losses you have suffered. If you have lost documents along the way, then it will not be a problem (although it will not necessarily help your claim).
From now on, however, it is very important that you do not delete, throw away or destroy any documents, emails, or correspondence which could shed light on your level of earnings as a cabbie prior to June 2012 (if you worked then) and during the period of June 2012 to March 2018.
Q: What happens if we and RGL win our case but Uber is allowed to appeal against the ruling?
A: If there is such an appeal of the “first instance” judgment, i.e. the Judge decides that Uber should pay cabbies’ losses, but that judgment is then, appealed by Uber to the Court of Appeal, then our legal team would obviously have to prepare and argue that the first instance judgment is correct and Uber’s appeal should not succeed. The litigation funder would fund the costs of the appeal and the insurers would insure drivers against losing the appeal such that drivers would not have to pay anything. The funder and insurers would do this, because it would be very much in their financial interest to protect/confirm the “win” achieved before the Judge at first instance.
Q: How will you keep me informed on progress?
A: RGL Management publish regular email updates, which we send out to every driver, or ex-driver, who is registered for and part of the BULit21 claimant group.
Q: Will my personal information be kept confidential?
RGL Management Limited is registered with the Information Commissioners Office. Registration number ZA175833. Registration address: 29 Lincolns Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3EE.
Q: I was previously signed up to another legal action against Uber about this issue. Can I still sign up for BULit21?
A: Yes you can. More details will follow about this after you register with BULit21 (bearing in mind always that registering does not involve any cost to you or any further commitment).
Q: RGL say that my claim could be worth £25,000. How is this figure calculated?
A: The £25,000 claim value represents a black cab driver working full time during the period June 2012 to March 2018. It is an estimate of the loss of such a driver, as derived from an extensive and independent analysis of a large sample of drivers’ accounts. Some drivers will have larger losses to claim; others will have lower amounts. The losses actually suffered by any driver across this period will depend on his or her personal circumstances.
Q: If BULit21 succeeds against Uber would it give the “green light” for Uber to continue its operations in London?
A: The BULit21 drivers’ claims will be legal claims for drivers’ losses incurred between June 2012 and March 2018. Nothing more; nothing less.
RGL and the drivers with whom we are working believe that there is a good legal case to pursue Uber for these past losses, and that this case should be pursued in the Courts.
Succeeding against Uber will prove nothing more (or less) than Uber caused black cab drivers to suffer these past losses. Succeeding will not provide Uber with any benefit for the future.
If or how Uber is licensed (or not) in the future is a matter for TfL – this cannot be determined by a case against Uber by drivers for past losses.