Uber could continue to operate in London for more than a year despite having its licence revoked by transport bosses.
A lengthy appeal against Transport for London's (TfL) refusal to renew its licence for the cab hire service will likely be strung out over at least 12 months, experts say.
The shock verdict last week saw TfL conclude Uber was "not fit and proper" to hold a private hire licence, citing safety concerns over the company's conduct.
The licence expires on 30 September but TfL has stated Uber and its 40,000 drivers can continue to work in the capital until any appeal process is exhausted.
Uber has 28 days to lodge an appeal, and the firm says it will do just that.
Patrick Nolan, a taxi licensing consultant, told The Times the legal process "could last 12 months or more".
Nigel Mackay, a lawyer at Leigh Day law firm, which has challenged Uber over its working practices, also indicated Uber's appeal "could go all the way to the Supreme Court".
"This could be a lengthy process and the timeline is very difficult to predict. Essentially, how long is a piece of string?" he told the BBC.
The decision against Uber prompted a backlash from the 3.5 million Londoners, who have come to enjoy the company's cheap fares.
Transport bosses gave four reasons for its decision; the firm's failure to report serious criminal offences; its approach to how medical certificates for drivers are obtained; its approach to background checks; and the company's use of secret software called 'Greyball', which could be used to block regulators from gaining full access to the app.
Uber's CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, issued an apology to Londoners on Monday (25 September), acknowledging the US company had "got things wrong along the way" as it expanded.
Fred Jones, head of cities for Uber in the UK, also admitted the company made errors in reporting criminal complaints.
He referred to a case where an Uber driver was allowed to continue working despite an allegation of sexual assault, leading to another more serious attack on a woman in his car.
But Jones said the company did not fully understand TfL's concerns and that he was eager to speak with its representatives.
Transport bosses have since come under pressure to fully explain why Uber's licence was not being renewed amid accusations the decision was politically motivated and had rested on trumped up charges.
This includes, critics say, the approach to obtaining criminal record checks for drivers.
Andrew Boff, a Conservative member of the London Assembly, said: "Operators don't do background checks. This is a TfL responsibility. It is TfL that issues the licences so clearly they've not been doing their job. Some of these accusations just appear made up; they lack details."
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London and chairman of TfL, backed the Uber ban but denied playing any part in the decision.
His register of interests shows he remains a member of the GMB, the union representing many black cab taxi drivers and which has led a campaign against Uber.
Khan said in response to Uber's apology: "Obviously I am pleased that [Khosrowshahi] has acknowledged the issues that Uber faces in London.
"Even though there is a legal process in place, I have asked TfL to make themselves available to meet with him."
TfL says it will make no further comment pending any appeal of the decision.