Rachel Mathieson wins Rising Star of the Year at the British Legal Awards 2021 for her role in the Uber litigation

Rachel is a Senior Associate in Bates Wells’ Employment team who qualified in 2014.

Alongside Employment Partner Paul Jennings, Rachel successfully represented the two test Claimants taking on Uber in the Supreme Court, in a landmark case concerning the employment rights of an estimated 45,000 drivers across London. The case will have enormous implications for the employment status of the 2.8 million people working across the so-called “gig economy”.

Thanks in part to Rachel’s determination and excellent legal reasoning, the Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers should be classified as workers, not as self employed contractors. As a result, Uber has started to offer its drivers a number of benefits associated with worker status, including:

  • Automatic enrolment into a pension plan;
  • National Living Wage; and
  • Holiday pay.

Rachel worked on the case on a pro bono basis, given the Claimants lacked the funds to compete with a global corporate like Uber. As a B Corporation, Bates Wells is very interested in legal issues which have a wider social benefit and we were delighted to be able to work on this milestone case.

As a client, it is obvious to see that Rachel Mathieson is a very talented lawyer at the height of her powers. But what is truly impressive about Rachel is the empathy and deep understanding she has shown, not only for us as clients, but also for the plight of so many precarious workers in Britain today who suffer truly terrible exploitation. Rachel has made an extraordinary effort to make sure we were always fully engaged, informed and actively contributing to the progress of our case every step of the way. I believe this connection and team work over years of legal proceedings has made all the difference for success in the case.

Test Claimant and client James Farrar

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of November 18, 2021.