In particular, at para. 35 of the judgment, the Court held that “in order to operate lawfully, an operator must undertake a contractual obligation to passengers… both Uber and Free Now acknowledge that they do not at present do so.”
The consequences of this are likely to be significant. In addition to any taxation and employment law consequences, the Court helt that TfL will now need to reconsider its current practice, which is that it does not review the contractual terms of an operator when considering a licence application (see judgment para. 36). This is likely to require close scrutiny of those contractual terms since, as the Court indicated in para. 38 of its judgment, terms which in effect exclude all liability to the passenger are “hard to reconcile with the purpose of the legislation”.
The case also considered the question of whether drivers using ride hailing Apps are plying for hire. Whilst the Divisional Court regarded itself as bound by the decision in Reading BC v Ali  EWHC 200 (Admin), it granted permission to appeal on this issue, which is likely now to be litigated in the higher courts.
David Matthias QC and Charles Streeten, instructed by Darren Rogers of Chiltern Law, acted for the United Trade Action Group, which brought the judicial review to the operator’s licence for Free Now and (along with the App Drivers and Couriers Union) was one of the two successful Respondents to Uber’s Part 8 Claim for declaratory relief.
A copy of the judgment is available here.