Black Cabbies v Transport for London
It is now clear that we will not reach our initial crowdfunding target of £600,000 by 7th April 2016. However, following consultation with those who have made pledges to date, our lawyers, and taxi organisations, the decision has been taken to direct the tremendous support we have received into an alternative legal action against TfL. Our legal advisers, Rosenblatt Solicitors, are confident we have a strong case for success.
To date, we have managed to raise a fantastic £351,208 from 4,764 backers. £300,000 would be sufficient for us to seek a Judicial Review of TfL’s decision to implement restrictive practices surrounding the credit card mandate. TfL’s [prescriptive mandate] would require black cabbies to install a fixed unit in the passenger compartment and would prevent them passing on the legitimate card processing fees to passengers – the unrecoverable cost to black cabbies could be tens of millions.
No other industry in the United Kingdom or EU is forced to operate under such conditions - conditions that are not being imposed on the private hire sector. Whilst black cabbies welcome innovation and there is wider acceptance of credit cards, specific aspects of the legislation are anti-competitive, a restraint of trade and put our iconic black cabs at a further financial disadvantage.
We therefore need your support to ensure we have sufficient funds in place to seek a Judicial Review of TfL’s latest actions against the iconic black industry.
Comment from our lawyers, Rosenblatt Solicitors
"The team at Rosenblatt Solicitors in conjunction with Thomas Sharpe QC have formed the view that there are sufficient grounds to apply to the Court for permission to bring an application for judicial review against Transport for London (TfL). There is no guarantee that the Court will give permission and if it does not the case can go no further. If, however, permission is granted the application would then be heard in open Court with both parties having the right to make their case.
Website - http://rosenblatt-law.co.uk/
- We require £250,000 plus VAT (£300,000) to seek a Judicial Review.
- We will require additional reserves when we go to trial to cover adverse costs.
- We are not expecting any unused funds for this stage of the process and should a Judicial Review be granted or TfL agrees voluntarily to review their position, any unused funds at the end of the project will be re-invested into PR and marketing to promote the Black Cab industry working with Redleaf Communications our PR agents.
Website - http://www.redleafpr.com/
We have therefore set out below a summary of the legal steps which are imminent:
- A formal letter to TFL setting out the legal basis of the complaint in detail and inviting them to agree to review their decision failing which an application for permission to bring a Judicial Review will be made (within 3 weeks)
- In parallel, an application for permission will be prepared which will involve a formal structured legal claim with supporting evidence (within 4 weeks)
- Assuming, as is anticipated, TFL refuses to agree to review their decision, the application for permission will be lodged in Court (within 1 week of hearing back from TFL)
- A decision will be made by a Judge as to whether to give permission for the application to proceed to a full hearing or not (up to 3 months from the application being filed)
- If the application proceeds to a full hearing, a timetable will be set by the Court which will include the opportunity for TFL to counter all arguments made (over about 6 months)
- A hearing date will be fixed when the case will be heard (within a year from permission being granted)
If you have already pledged and AGREE with TfL that drivers SHOULD pay passenger credit card fees and should also have a fixed credit card terminal, then please CANCEL your pledge by emailing Crowdfunder.
Your cancellation needs to be submitted by 5.00pm Tuesday 5th April 2016 (within 1 week) or your pledge will be used to help fund a JR against TfL for the adverse effects of the credit card mandate.
Please email your name, email address (which you made your pledge with) and a message simply saying, ‘Cancel my pledge’ to firstname.lastname@example.org
WARNING: If you do not cancel your pledge by 5.00pm Tuesday 5th April 2016, any monies pledged will be used for a JR against TfL for making drivers pay passenger credit card fees and for making drivers have a fixed terminal in the passenger/driver compartment.
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