Debt Recovery Update: Enforcement of debts via High Court Enforcement Officers

Back in April 2020, we wrote about the impact lockdown was having on debt recovery in this article Debt recovery during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. As part of that guidance, we advised that High Court Enforcement Officers (“HCEOs”) had suspended attendances at both commercial and residential properties. On 25 April 2020, the Taking Control of […]

Covid-19: New legislation for redundancy and notice pay of furloughed employees

The government has announced new legislation to ensure that furloughed employees who are made redundant will receive a statutory redundancy payment based on their normal rate of pay and not their reduced furlough pay. The same will apply in respect of notice payments for furloughed employees.  The new legislation is to come into force today (31 […]

NHS Resolution annual report and accounts summary

This summary outlines the new indemnity schemes and clinical negligence cases handled by NHS Resolution. It includes the new measures undertaken in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The full report can be viewed here: NHS Resolution annual report and accounts 2019/20 which details the performance and future plans of the NHS. New indemnity schemes 2019/2020 […]

Business contracts: best by design, not by accident

The massive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many more people working from home resulting in the number of face-to-face business meetings to drop to virtually zero.   This has led to an explosion in the use of video conferencing technology.  Whilst the benefits of these technologies are immense, they are not without […]

Family courts to offer better protection in domestic abuse cases

The often stressful, protracted and adversarial process currently in place in the family court can have the effect of worsening conflict between parties, which in turn can cause further trauma for victims of domestic abuse and their children. The family courts often have to conduct cases involving some of the most vulnerable in society, and […]

Coronavirus: weddings can now take place, but should you also consider a pre-nuptial agreement?

The Government recently announced that from 4th July couples can now get married in England with up to 30 guests and enjoy their wedding ceremonies with rules in place, such as all individuals from different households being at least 2 metres apart, or one metre with risk mitigation if this is not possible.

Making your workplace Covid-19 secure

As the stay at home rule relaxes and businesses get the green light to re-open, employers are making plans to bring their staff back into the workplace. All employers have a statutory duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees as far as reasonably practicable. The government’s message remains that employees should […]

Teachers’ pensions: returning to the fray

Whilst most of the attention recently has understandably been on the COVID-19 crisis, the past few months have seen a number of developments regarding the on-going impact of increases in employer contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) on the independent schools sector. An ever increasing number of independent schools have left (or are leaving) […]

Updated COVID-19 toolkit for independent schools

In March we produced our toolkit to help independent schools manage the unprecedented challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.  As society starts making steps towards a return to normality and schools prepare to welcome back pupils, we have updated this key resource for independent schools as they continue to navigate their way through the next […]

Keeping children safe in education – new changes for September

The Government has just released the updated version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE), which will come into force on 1 September 2020.  You should continue to refer to the current version of KCSIE until 31 August 2020, but schools will want to start preparing for the upcoming changes.  The key new developments are […]

A surge in business interruption claims due to Covid-19

On 23 March 2020, the government mandated non-essential businesses to close and ordered individuals to stay at home except in a few limited exceptions. This had a monumental impact on the UK’s economy, with airlines, retail, hospitality, sporting and tourism sectors suffering unprecedented disruption and financial loss. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forecasts […]

Flexible furlough scheme

Over the weekend, the government released guidance about upcoming changes to the coronavirus job retention scheme (also known as the furlough scheme). The changes relate to new flexible furlough arrangements that will be available for employers to operate as they ease out of lock down and before the scheme closes as the end of October. […]

The new Family Court Road Map in Covid-19

The President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane last week issued his Road Map indicating that as social distancing restrictions will remain in place for many months it is unlikely that anything approaching a return to the normal court working environment will be achieved before the end of 2020 or even the spring of […]

Coronavirus: real estate disputes

If you have a dispute concerning property or land, then strategic advice at the earliest stage can help you resolve issues.  Landlords and tenants are both becoming increasingly concerned about maintaining their respective obligations under leases and – if possible – avoiding them. The situation is changing rapidly and the government is seeking to react […]

Coronavirus: divorce and separation family law

The pandemic has certainly put a lot of people in difficulties – physically, mentally, financially and socially. This can be especially true for separated couples who need to continue to live together in the current circumstances. However, even before the pandemic, some separated couples might have found themselves in no position to live apart for […]

How to cope with separation and divorce anxiety during Covid-19

The trials of family life are different for everyone but in this crisis situation that we are experiencing now thanks to Covid-19 it really increases the pressure on merged or separated families. We have had a number of unique Covid-specific queries from families and individuals living across the South East as well as from abroad, asking […]

Directors’ decisions: call a moratorium for 20 days?

Government announce plans to protect businesses During the current COVID-19 crisis the government have announced new plans to help directors run their businesses without threats from third party creditors. Some of these are temporary but the government have also announced some permanent new laws, as an addition to current Insolvency Law. This is in order to […]

Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to life and COVID-19

Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights states: “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one should be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of the sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law”. Everyone’s right to […]

Arkin v Marshall – The effect of Practice Direction 51Z on possession proceedings

On 26 March 2020 Practice Direction 51Z (PD 51Z) came into force in response to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). The effect of PD 51Z was to place a stay on all existing and newly issued possession claims until 25 June 2020. This has clearly had a big impact on landlords and mortgagees who are seeking […]

Government guidance for commercial contracts impacted by Covid-19

Through the Cabinet Office, the government recently published its guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by the Covid-19 emergency. The guidance applies with immediate effect to parties in the private and public sectors operating in England (although notably not in the other devolved UK nations). The key takeaway […]

Extension to the furlough scheme

The Chancellor has today announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“Scheme”) will be extended for four months, until the end of October 2020. There will be no changes in relation to how the Scheme is run between now and the end of July 2020. Between August and October 2020 the Scheme will be continue […]

Remote board meetings: how to get board resolutions passed amidst the COVID-19 crisis

One of the challenges that directors of companies may face during these unprecedented times is holding board meetings and passing board resolutions whilst still adhering to the social distancing rules and keeping safe. Virtual board meetings are an efficient and relatively straight forward solution to this, and you may even find that you prefer to […]

Directors’ difficult decisions during the COVID-19 lockdown

What can directors continue to do to ensure good governance of their business? The directors of companies in the UK across many business areas are having to make unusually difficult decisions. Sometimes this even includes if their company can continue to trade and exist. Directors take advice where necessary and frequently have had to act quickly. […]

COVID-19: Government financial support for businesses

The government has introduced various forms of financial assistance to businesses in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the number of different guidance available on the government website, this summary will hopefully assist in providing a quick overview on the available schemes and the applicable criteria. 1. Business Loans: The government released an […]

Trade mark strategies in a pandemic outbreak

As with all significant events, novel viruses being no exception, people capitalise on ideas for products and services that could be relevant. For consumer goods, a commercially necessary first step is to launch trade mark applications in the expectation that they will result in registered and therefore more protectable marks. Coronavirus impact on IP and […]

COVID-19 Will preparation & execution

In these difficult and uncertain times many people are considering having a Will prepared for the first time or reviewing an existing one because of family changes, executor updates or other significant changes to circumstances possibly as a result of this pandemic. Irrespective of issues facing us all with COVID-19, a Will is an essential […]

The job retention scheme: further guidance

Following on from our previous updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, both the government and the Treasury have provided further guidance, details of which are set out below. The most significant change is that employees must have been on the employer’s payroll and included on the employer’s Real Time Information submission to HMRC on or […]

Debt recovery during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown since 23 March 2020 has raised unprecedented challenges to businesses across the UK. Some companies continue to operate with employees working from home, but others may have ceased to operate all together. One common issue for all companies during this challenging time is the management of cash flow. Collecting […]

Coronavirus and insolvency: what is insolvency and what steps can be taken to avoid it?

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having a major impact on businesses in all sectors around the UK. It has had a particular effect on hospitality, property, retail and leisure sectors. Below is a short guide to understanding insolvency, and the steps that can be taken to assess whether a company, or individual, might be facing insolvency in […]

Employment law factsheet 2020

Whilst businesses are busy organising their workforces during the current Covid-19, there are a number of changes effective from 6 April 2020 of which employers need to be aware. Statutory rates of pay As usual in April 2020, a number of statutory rates of pay have changed. These are as follows:- Statutory Sick Pay has […]

Data privacy implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Data privacy law has always tried to strike a balance between individual rights and overwhelming social needs. With the COVID-19 pandemic now sweeping the world, Governments are taking extreme measures to save lives by encouraging social distancing and tracking infected persons. People in democratic countries are simply not used to some of the measures being […]

Job retention scheme – new guidance

The government has updated its guidance on the Job Retention Scheme which we have summarised below. Two additional requirements for employers are that they must have enrolled for PAYE online, which can take up to ten days, and have a UK bank account. The employer must notify the employee in writing that they will be […]

COVID-19: how to make your house move happen

The UK government has now issued guidance to those buying or selling their home during the Covid-19 lockdown. This update clarifies what you can do now – whether you are considering buying or selling, already have an offer accepted or have already exchanged contracts and are waiting to complete your transaction. The key message, that we are […]

Changes to Insolvency law and practical steps directors can take during these challenging times

During the last few weeks we have seen big names including Flybe, Carluccio’s and BrightHouse enter administration. Debenhams has entered into urgent talks with landlords regarding rent cuts and rent and service charge holidays in an attempt to save some of its stores. These talks will likely result in Debenhams entering into a second CVA, […]

Coronavirus: How to deal with stamping formalities on the sale of shares

As UK companies continue to deal with the ever-changing effect on day to day business as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19), one of the challenges which companies may face is the impact of the closure of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) offices. This might be particularly challenging when faced with post completion matters following transactions […]

Wrongful trading rules suspension: be careful what you wish for!

Due to the material impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on UK business, the Government announced on 28 March amendments to existing statutory insolvency measures. This is in order to assist directors of businesses potentially unable to meet their debts in the current climate. Suspension of ‘wrongful trading’ rules The way this will be dealt with […]

Assistance if you are self-employed

Following on from our articles on the Job Retention Scheme, we address here the support available from the government for the self-employed in response to COVID-19. Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) SEISS provides a similar level of support to the job retention scheme (80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Force Majeure and avoiding contractual uncertainty

This article examines the ongoing coronavirus public health crisis and its impact on contracts, the ability to terminate or cancel contractual obligations and refers to a recent case study. In general terms “Force Majeure” (FM) is a legal concept defined under a contract relating to the occurrence of events outside the control of the parties. […]

How can I support my customers without giving up my legal rights?

The impact of Coronavirus has meant that many retailers and other businesses have had to close their premises or are suffering a severe downturn in business. As a consequence some are refusing delivery or delaying payment. Suppliers have been asking us for advice on how they can support their customers during this difficult time without […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit for independent schools

In these unprecedented times, independent schools are under unprecedented financial pressure. Schools are closed; parents are asking about refunds; staff are self-isolating; commercial contractors demand payment. We have prepared a checklist to help you keep on top of this fast-moving crisis…. Parents Most schools are receiving enquiries from parents asserting that they will expect a […]

Applying for a visa to come to the UK during the coronavirus epidemic

At present, UK Visas & Immigration case working and compliance teams are still functioning and pending applications are being processed, albeit standard processing times are likely to be impacted. Although global travel is mostly on hiatus it is still technically possible to apply for visa online and some visa application centres are still operational, depending […]

The impact of the coronavirus on marriage, divorce and children

The outbreak of COVID-19 (“the Coronavirus”) brings unprecedented times with it, and family law is one of many aspects of life that will no doubt be impacted by this. You may find yourself in self-isolation with your partner, ex-partner or soon to be ex-partner for what might be months wondering what now. You may find […]

Coronavirus: Insolvency & Restructuring

In these challenging and uncertain times many will be concerned about the adverse impact on their business and worried about their families, employees, customers and suppliers. This is a changing landscape and lots of new measures are being introduced, so take a moment to digest, reflect and access advice and support before making any big […]

Coronavirus – How safe is your supply chain?

As coronavirus quickly develops from a local to a global threat, there are also increasing commercial concerns in relation to the ability of parties to perform contracts. In particular, the coronavirus outbreak is an illustration of the legal principles of force majeure and frustration which can, in the correct circumstances, excuse a party’s non-performance and/or […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – employment issues update

Further to our Coronavirus Employment Law Issues article issued recently, we now have the latest information and guidance concerning the employment law issues with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Self-isolation for coronavirus and Statutory Sick Pay The government have announced this morning that an employee who self-isolates will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Whilst this is correct if […]

Immigration update: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

The Home Office has updated it’s guidance for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. As this is because of circumstances beyond […]