A wealthy barrister, who is currently suing Uber via a crowdfunding lawsuit, has been warned that he faces the likelihood that Uber can reclaim their legal costs against him, if he loses.
The matter relates to a missing receipt for £1.06 as part of a £6.34 taxi ride. The lawyer, Joylon Maugham, argued that this dispute was larger than what has been classed as a trivial sum and represented his attempt to expose Uber (London Ltd) to pay further taxes.
Maugham’s net income is allegedly £400,000 per annum. Additionally he also owns two properties. As such the judge has decided that in the event he loses his claim that Uber will be entitled to claim their costs against his assets.
Uber has said that it, “does not itself provide transportation services” and as such VAT is not due on it’s taxi journeys. Furthermore in the event a passenger wants a VAT receipt the company has said the passenger should check with the individual driver to confirm whether he or she is registered for VAT.
By contrast Maugham believes that if his case is successful it could trigger a £1billion VAT bill payable by Uber.
He commented, “We have grave concerns about the implications of the decision. It is an invitation to private corporations to use the threat of costs liability to dodge legal accountability. It makes it difficult or impossible to hold them to account. It damages the rule of law. And these consequences, we believe, will further undermine popular consent to capitalism.”
The current dispute, with the scope of the case, involves a £157,000 bill for a one day hearing on the 6th February 2019.
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