CC curbs taxi ‘misuse’ with threat of expenses review

Clifford Chance

London managing partner Jeremy Sandelson has emailed staff to warn them about escalating taxi costs as the firm looks to tighten its belt during the economic downturn.

The firm will now monitor the use of taxis and will re-examine its taxi expenses policy if costs do not decrease.

Sandelson sent a firmwide email to staff on Monday 25 February, which read: “In the light of the difficult economic climate, of which you are all aware, we are reviewing our expenditure on taxis in the London office, as this has risen to unacceptable levels.”

The firm’s current taxipolicy is that taxis can only be taken if working legitimately on firm business after 9pm in the winter and 10pm in the summer.

Taxi costs should never exceed £60, but according to Sandelson taxis are often kept waiting outside the office for long periods with the meters running.

The new HMRC tax guidance on taxis was also cited by Sandelson as effectively almost doubling the cost to the firm of staff taking taxis home, as reported on www.thelawyer. com (11 January).

He continued to complain about staff abusing the taxi system in the email, saying: “Prudent management of all our costs is of course important at all times, and especially so in quieter times.

“Reports have come to my attention of people going out socialising and then returning to the office to get a taxi, or simply hanging around the office until they can get a ‘free’ taxi home.”

Sandelson was unavailable for comment, but a firm spokesman said: “All he was doing was reminding people of the taxi policy.”