|Headquarters||London Borough of Camden, England|
|Area served||Greater London|
|Divisions||Minicab, Coach, Courier, Motorcycle taxi|
Founder John Griffin was born in Ireland to a civil engineering contractor father. He was raised in Kilburn from 9 years old attending Finchley Catholic High School. However he left school with no qualifications after contracting tuberculosis from drinking the milk of a cow he had milked on a school visit to a farm.
While training as an accountant, his father's road and sewer building business got into financial difficulty. Griffin left accountancy training to help salvage the business with some success. During this period, and wanting a flexible job to create extra income, Griffin started working as a minicab driver which turned into a full-time job. Griffin eventually decided to move on from driving minicabs, deciding he could do a better job of running a minicab business. Together with another driver, he set about starting a company which today is known as West One Cars. However, Griffin was convinced to stay on with his original employer after his salary was quadrupled and only later decided to form his own company.
Griffin was convinced that his new company needed a name which started with an "A" for it to appear early in telephone directory listings. A colleague who lived in a squat in Addison Gardens said people seemed to think this was a very posh address, which Griffin supplemented with Lee. Addison Lee was founded in 1975, with half the company owned by investor Lenny Foster.
In 1976, Griffin founded the Private Hire Car Association in response to the Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976. As chairman of the association, Griffin was vocal in the debate that led to the licensing of private hire operators in the UK.
The company operates a fleet of 4,000 vehicles with annual revenues of over £200m. As well as being a private hire operator, Addison Lee also operates a private coach company with a fleet of 100 coaches of various sizes. The company carries out over 20,000 jobs every day.
In April 2013 it was announced that the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, would be purchasing the company for an undisclosed sum, reported to be £300m. John Griffin has remained as chairman with son Liam replacing Daryl Foster as CEO. The Carlyle Group intend to grow the firm nationally and internationally.
Addison Lee relies heavily on information technology to automate and streamline the process of managing the large number of drivers and jobs, through the use of driver PDAs, GPS tracking and text messaging. The company annually spends £2m on IT, employing 24 programmers.
Addison Lee's use of technology has played an important part in reducing emissions and led to several awards, including Best Large Private Sector Fleet in Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero Awards 2011. Addison Lee is a member of Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s “Green500” initiative.
Addison Lee's software has also been applied to other industries by the company's software partner, Haulmont Technology. The first client announced was JBW, a bailiff company.
"...tell me that I'm wrong but I do what I please; way too many people in the Addison Lee..."
In April 2012, Addison Lee's chairman John Griffin instructed all its drivers to begin using bus lanes, against the will of Transport for London. Griffin argued that allowing only licensed black taxis to use the lanes was "unfair discrimination". Griffin also secured a judicial review against Hackney Carriage legislation saying it was archaic.
John Griffin said the firm would "indemnify any fines or payments" that the firm's drivers would incur. In April 2012 the High court ruled that Addison Lee could not encourage or instruct its driver to use bus lanes.
In the April 2012 edition of Addison Lee's corporate magazine Add Lib, John Griffin used his editorial piece to voice his opinion that collisions with cyclists were unavoidable, and not the fault of his drivers. He concluded: “It is time for us to say to cyclists, ‘You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up’.” This has caused a reaction from London's cycling community, including the London Cycling Campaign, CTC, Levenes Cycle and the London Fixed-Gear and Single-Speed forum, who have started taking action boycotting Addison Lee cabs by leaving negative reviews on the company's iPhone app, organizing protests, and calling for people to lobby their companies to stop their Addison Lee accounts. In December 2011, "Addison Lee Hell" began tracking public disquiet to the firm, via the Twitter social network.
Dr. Belinda Webb started an e-petition with HM Government to have Addison Lee's license withdrawn. This has caused a reaction from London's cycling community, including the London Cycling Campaign.
On 26 April 2012, the Chief Procurement Officer confirmed that the UK Government contract with Addison Lee would be terminated at the end of April 2012.
- Teather, David (2009-12-20). "Minicab mogul has tight grip on wheel". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- "John Griffin". Addison Lee. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- "Background". Addison Lee. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- "London minicab firm Addison Lee sold for £300m". BBC News. 20 April 2013.
- "Fleet Hero Awards 2011". Energy Saving Trust. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- "Addison Lee Website- Green500".
- "http://fleetnews.co.uk jbw group chooses haulmont technology".
- TfL's high court injunction prevents Addison Lee from instructing its drivers to use bus lanes Transport for London 26 April 2012
- "Addison Lee chairman provokes controversy with his views on London cyclist deaths".
- "Minicab chief: cyclists have to expect to be hurt on roads".
- Walker, Peter (20 April 2012). "Addison Lee minicab boss's criticism of cyclists angers bike lobby". The Guardian (London).
- "Addison Lee Hell".
- "Withdraw Addison Lee's license".
- Mulholland, Helene (27 April 2012). "Addison Lee loses government contract". The Guardian (London).