Addison Lee

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Addison Lee
TypePrivate Limited Company
Founded1975, Battersea, London
FounderJohn Griffin
HeadquartersLondon, W2
United Kingdom
Area served
Greater London
Key people
Liam Griffin, CEO
ServicesMinicab, Courier, Motorcycle taxi
Revenue£346 million (2017)

Addison Lee is a British private hire cab and courier company based in London, England. It was founded in 1975 by John Griffin.

A Ford Galaxy with previous Addison Lee branding


The company was founded by John Griffin as Pacecroft Limited in 1975.[1] 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.


The company operates a fleet of 4,000 vehicles with annual revenues of over £900m.[2] The company carries out over 20,000 jobs every day.[3]

Addison Lee has achieved both the ISO 9002 and the Investors in People accreditation.[3]



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 initially remained as chairman with son Liam Griffin replacing Daryl Foster as CEO. The Carlyle Group intend to grow the firm nationally and internationally.[4]

John Griffin departs, new senior hires[edit]

During 2014 Addison Lee announced several senior hires including Peter Boucher (CCO), Catherine Faiers (Ops Director), Gary Cust (Chief Council), Nick Kotsis (Data Scientist) and Nick Constantinou (Head of Marketing).[5] In media interviews in October 2014 it was announced that founder John Griffin had stepped down earlier that year and is no longer involved with the company.[6]


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.

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.[7] Addison Lee is a member of Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s "Green500" initiative.[8]

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, an Enforcement Agency company.[9]


In April 2012, Addison Lee's chairman John Griffin instructed all of 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 drivers to use bus lanes.[10]

In the April 2012 edition of Addison Lee's corporate magazine Add Lib,[11] 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’."[12] 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.[13][14]

Dr. Belinda Web started an e-petition with HM Government to have Addison Lee's license withdrawn.[15] This 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 (OP71) contract with Addison Lee would be terminated at the end of April 2012.[16]

In 2015, following reports that a small number of Addison Lee drivers had kicked same-sex couples out of their cars, the company introduced a diploma for its drivers, which includes equality training.[17]

In September 2017, Addison Lee lost a tribunal case brought by Leigh Day, which sought to grant employees rights such as the minimum wage and holiday pay.[18]


On 19 October 2015, Addison Lee introduced CycleCab, a new service allowing up to two passengers to travel in a cab with one bicycle. The service launched alongside the Six Day London track event at Lee Valley VeloPark.[19]

Former operations[edit]

Between July 2006 and April 2013, Addison Lee operated the Redwing Coaches business.[20][21][22][23]


  1. ^ "Companies House Addison Lee Limited - Overview". Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  2. ^ Teather, David (20 December 2009). "Minicab mogul has tight grip on wheel". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 23 December 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Background". Addison Lee. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  4. ^ "London minicab firm Addison Lee sold for £300m". BBC News. 20 April 2013.
  5. ^ Mortimer, Natalie (29 September 2014). "Addison Lee hires Nick Constantinou as head of marketing and product innovation as international expansion ramps up". The Drum.
  6. ^ Lea, Robert (27 September 2014). "The manifesto: Addison Lee sets sat-nav for New York and beyond". The Times.
  7. ^ "Fleet Hero Awards 2011". Energy Saving Trust. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Addison Lee Website- Green500". Archived from the original on 13 February 2012.
  9. ^ "JBW Group chooses Haulmont Technology for new enforcement control system". Fleet Industry News. Bauer Consumer Media Ltd. 17 February 2011.
  10. ^ "TfL's High Court injunction prevents Addison Lee from instructing its drivers to use bus lanes". TfL. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  11. ^ "AddLib - Addison Lee news and promotions". Addison Lee. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  12. ^ MacMichael, Simon (19 April 2012). "Addison Lee chairman provokes controversy with his views on London cyclist deaths".
  13. ^ Burgess, Kaya (20 April 2012). "Minicab chief: cyclists have to expect to be hurt on roads". The Times.
  14. ^ Walker, Peter (20 April 2012). "Addison Lee minicab boss's criticism of cyclists angers bike lobby". The Guardian. London.
  15. ^ "Petition: Withdraw Addison Lee's license". UK Government and Parliament. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  16. ^ Mulholland, Helene (27 April 2012). "Addison Lee loses government contract". The Guardian. London.
  17. ^ "Addison Lee introduces equality training for its drivers". Dial2Donate. Archived from the original on 12 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  18. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "UK tribunal rules group of Addison Lee drivers deserve workers' rights". Retrieved 19 January 2018. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  19. ^ "Addison Lee now offers its services to cyclists and their bikes". Dial2Donate. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  20. ^ Addison Lee acquires Redwing Fleet News 24 July 2006
  21. ^ Addison Lee acquires Redwing Coaches Acquisitions Monthly October 2006
  22. ^ Redwing Coaches Bus & Coach Buyer 17 August 2015
  23. ^ Redwing purchases Reliance[permanent dead link] RouteOne 3 June 2015

External links[edit]