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COVID-19

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - wrongful trading

Stephen Downie
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The new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill enables a company to stay winding-up proceedings and further limits, in certain circumstances, the risk to directors personally that they may one day be accused of wrongful trading. While Rishi Sumak...

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - penalties for abuse

Stephen Downie
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The new provisions provide a lot of opportunity for abuse by companies and their directors. Indeed, where an insolvency practitioner is appointed as a monitor (to satisfy the court’s concern as to such abuse), they may be liable for any wrongs they...

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - monitoring by insolvency practitioners

Stephen Downie
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Where a moratorium, or suspension, of winding-up proceedings is sought by a company, relevant documents must be filed with the court which must support any such request. Included within these documents is the agreement from a ‘Proposed Monitor’...

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill subject to exploitation

Stephen Downie
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The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill currently progressing through Parliament provides that companies in the United Kingdom (with modifications for Northern Ireland) can now seek to stay winding-up proceedings upon making a request of the court...

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - Relevant Period

Stephen Downie
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The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill is due for a second reading in the House of Commons on 3 June 2020. The Bill will commence from the date on which it passes and last for an initial period of one month. This is likely to be up until early July,...

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill to bring major insolvency reforms

Stephen Downie
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On Wednesday (20 May 2020) the government announced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill being put before Parliament. It will have its second reading in the House of Commons on 3 June 2020. Curiously, the Bill refers both...

The applicants that cried wolf: how relying on COVID-19 was 'entirely opportunistic and not credible'

Tom Serafin
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Yesterday morning, the High Court of Justice in  Shorts Gardens LLB v London Borough of Camden Council  [2020] EWHC 1001 (Ch)  dismissed two applications seeking to restrain winding up petitions, with one of the grounds of the applications...

Taking security over CBILS borrowers' assets: questions lenders are asking

Chris Willison
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Before offering finance through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), lenders must first seek to take security over a borrower’s available assets for repayment of the loan – the CBILS will only cover up to 80% of any...

Registering real property charge documents under COVID19: guidance for lenders

Sally Bradshaw
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The current situation, where we are all social distancing, clearly presents a number of challenges for lenders looking to register real property charges with the Land Registry. And the absence of any change to the time limits for registrations only...

Furlough or forlorn? Employee issues post insolvency

Tim Francis
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A great deal of uncertainty has been created in recent weeks as a result of the unprecedented measures employed to aid businesses in their response to the novel Coronavirus. Among the most notable is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), which allows...

COVID-19 and the operation of courts: What it means for you

Tom Serafin
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The courts are rapidly adapting to the new social distancing requirements in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Equally, the courts are also taking steps to mitigate the longer term effects such restrictive measures will have on their ability to...

Companies House insolvency filings: easing the burden on insolvency practitioners

Tim Francis
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In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Insolvency Service released a bulletin yesterday announcing temporary changes to delivery requirements for statutory insolvency forms. As a result of these amendments, practitioners will now be able to send such...

Is COVID-19 a Material Adverse Change?

Chris Willison
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By implementing a Material Adverse Change clause (MAC) in agreements, lenders are often able to hold back - or even cease - providing finance to a client if there is (or will be) a material adverse change in the business, financial condition or ability to...

Debts and Coronavirus: how best to pursue payment of outstanding debts

Andrew Bowden-Brown
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  As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold and the damaging economic impact is being felt everywhere, businesses face the difficult question of how to go about recovering debts in these unusual circumstances. It is business as usual Despite...

The importance of shareholders' agreements when things go wrong

Eleanor Waters
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COVID-19 business disruption opens up the potential for disputes and disagreements between shareholders and directors. In the event that ‘things go wrong’, it is important that companies have a clear process to follow and a legally binding...

Disguised problems for businesses facing adjourned winding-up petitions?

Tim Francis
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  With much-needed emergency legislation and guidance still on the horizon, the High Court conducted its first remote hearings of the Companies Court Winding-up List yesterday. We heard last week that the judiciary had postponed list hearings by...

SME businesses and government rescue packages

Stephen Downie
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For most companies the government rescue packages at first blush appear an extremely welcome relief – employees’ jobs are secured, directors are protected from any wrong decisions made in these times of uncertainty and creditors are prohibited...

Government changes to insolvency law not as clear-cut as they seem

Tim Francis
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  Domestic business has already been severely impacted by the spread of the Coronavirus. With ministers announcing that restrictive ‘lockdown’ measures may well persist for up to six months, the government has been forced to consider...

COVID-19 UK tax deferral scheme announced

Eleanor Waters
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 On 26 March 2020 HMRC released further guidance on the COVID-19 VAT deferral scheme .   The VAT payment deferral period will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. VAT payments due in this period will be deferred for all businesses with a...

Companies House's accounts filing extension

Carly Moore-Martin
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Companies House announced yesterday that it was giving businesses an additional three months to file their accounts to help them avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.  This will come as good news for many, but there are several key...

Who qualifies for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

Chris Willison
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  The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL Scheme) was announced by the chancellor on 11 March and is available to businesses with a turnover of up to £45 million. It aims to support those SME businesses that were trading...

Can construction sites stay open?

Roxanne Antonio
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While we all patiently await government announcements each day, the current official advice from housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, in respect of construction sites is that they can remain open provided the guidance from Public Health England on...

How to continue executing legal documents and variations when everyone is working remotely

Chris Willison
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  A lot of our banking, finance and borrower clients are asking us how they can continue executing documents and variations as deeds or contracts in the current crisis when it is not possible for parties to sign in person or for those signatures to be...

What are the rights and remedies for parties of a construction contract?

Roxanne Antonio
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  COVID-19 has been declared by the World Health Organisation as a pandemic that has had an impact on all our lives. It has also had an impact on construction projects up and down the country and overseas. There will inevitably be interruptions...

Government measures updated to counter COVID-19

Stephen Downie
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  Business is no longer “as usual” as further impacts of Coronavirus hit the leisure industry, with Boris Johnson today announcing measures, including: Cafes, restaurants and pubs to close tonight. When they will reopen is anyone’s...

How does a business pay its staff and survive during what could be the many months of COVID-19?

Stephen Downie
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  As with all businesses, certain variable costs are linked to the turnover they generate and can ebb and flow with changing demand.  However, other fixed costs remain, regardless of the success of the business.  It is these fixed costs that...

Can I still recover my debts if there is a lockdown due to the coronavirus?

Mark Ovenell
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  Absolutely. Despite the majority of the country’s workforce being asked to social distance from each other, for the time being the message from HM Court Service is that it is very much business as normal. While longer criminal trials have...

COVID-19: How is the Government supporting businesses?

Stephen Downie
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The UK government has very quickly identified the impact the Coronavirus may have on business and has provided key reliefs in the 11 March 2020 budget. This includes a package of measures to assist business, including: Statutory Sick Pay for...