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The High Court has ruled that Uber’s driver app is not a taximeter because the calculation of the fare by reference to distance and time takes place on an external server. Monica Carss-Frisk QC acted for Uber. Pushpinder Saini QC and Ben Jaffey acted for the Licensed Private Hire Car Association.

TfL brought a claim seeking the assistance of the High Court as to the proper construction of a criminal law prohibition concerning the statutory restriction on private hire vehicles (ie not black cabs) being equipped with devices (taximeters) for calculating charges for customers based on time and distance. The claim was brought against the background of the long-running dispute between various sectors of the taxi and mini-cab industry concerning Uber’s business model. The High Court ruled on 16 October 2015 that drivers' smartphones which use Uber’s fare calculation app are not taximeters within the legislation. Ouseley J held that this was the case because the calculation of the fare by reference to distance and time takes place on an external server and not within the smartphone.

Monica Carss-Frisk QC acted for Uber London Limited. Pushpinder Saini QC and Ben Jaffey acted for the Licensed Private Hire Car Association.

The full judgment can be read in the attached document. 

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