November 18, 2017

Here is the scenario: a local authority licences a hackney carriage or private hire driver. The authority becomes aware of that a serious allegation has been made against the driver: say a sexual assault upon a passenger. A criminal investigation is underway; the driver has been arrested, has exercised his right to silence (on legal advice), and has been released on police bail and is yet to be charged; the passenger’s identity is being kept secret. Can the local authority immediately suspend the driver’s licence pending investigations, with a full hearing to take place at a later date, when it can consider whether to revoke the licence?

Until the case of R. (on the application of Singh and others) v. Cardiff City Council [2012] EHWC 1852 (Admin) it was thought that the answer was yes, it could.

Obi...

September 13, 2017

In Kaivanpor v. DPP [2015] EWHC 4127, the Divisional Court sought to resolve what was seen as a tension between the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re Muck It Ltd v. Merritt [2005] EWCA Civ 1124 and Canterbury City Council v. Ali [2013] EHWC 2360 (Admin) as to who bore the burden of proof in establishing whether an already licensed individual (in Kaivanpor a taxi driver) is a fit and proper person when considering an appeal against a revocation.

In a supreme irony, one of the reasons given by the Divisional Court for preferring the approach in Muck It over that in Ali was that Ali was “ a decision reached with only one party present and represented which was based on an absence of relevant Court of Appeal authority”. This was an irony because in Kaivanpor only one party (Mr Kaivanpor) appeared a...

June 21, 2016

Transport for London (“TfL”) has made a suite of regulations amending the existing rules applying to the private hire vehicles, drivers and operators it licenses.

In this blog post, I take a look at the new insurance requirements for private hire vehicles (“PHVs”).

I will firstly set out what I consider to be the relevant provisions of the law of the land as it relates to the insurance of motor vehicles generally.

I will then see how that general law has been built upon to date so far as PHVs in London are concerned.

Then I will set out the new reforms to the regulations, and consider how this may impact upon the owners and drivers of PHVs in London, and their insurers.

The Road Traffic Act 1988

So, some context. S.143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (“RTA 1988”) makes it an offence to use (or to cause or...

June 18, 2016

Uber changed its UK customer terms and conditions on 16 June 2016.

At the time of writing, the amendments seem to have been made without announcement (in terms of email or pop-up message) to users of the Customer App. [Update: the change was mentioned en passant in an email concerning UberPOOL on 20 June 2016]

The changes appear to have been prompted by the introduction of UberEATS food delivery service in London - and it appears that Uber wishes to use the same small print for UberEATS as it does for “transportation services”.

The extent of the changes themselves is fairly minor (a tracked changes version is available here), but the document remains as before a fairly complex one which requires careful analysis. This is particularly because:

  • the customer is dealing with several entities (so, for...

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Charles Holland - 
Barrister

Licensing, chancery/commercial and property barrister.

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