Coronavirus – Issues for businesses #4

Businesses across the UK are continuing to adapt to life under lockdown. To help acquire the perspective needed to navigate the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, our teams are providing regular insight and guidance though a series of Covid-19 updates.

This issue looks at amendments to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme as well as the launch of a package aimed at larger businesses and provides further specialist commentary from our reputation management, dispute resolution, commercial, corporate, finance, insurance, pensions and construction teams.

Keeping your verbal distance

At a time when huge swathes of the economy have been shut down and the population has been told to stay at home, one might suppose that concerns about personal reputation or privacy come a long way down the list of immediate priorities. However, this is a time when the volume of communications, particularly online, is likely to grow significantly and it is vital that messages are clear, calming, consistent and accurate.

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Insolvency law reforms due to Covid-19

On 28 March 2020, business secretary Alok Sharma announced plans to reform insolvency law to add new restructuring tools, including a moratorium for companies in order to give them breathing space from creditors whilst they seek a rescue or restructure and protection of companies’ supplies to enable them to continue trading. In addition, the proposals will include key safeguards for creditors and suppliers to ensure they are paid while a solution is sought.

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Ten key issues for boards facing a pandemic

The evolving Covid-19 situation is posing many practical challenges for boards of companies and businesses. We highlight some of the key points to address during this crisis including statutory duties, operational flexibility, contractual obligations and regulatory requirements. This briefing also reflects on the importance of communication with key resources to assess and decide strategy and to execute the business continuity plan.

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Government support packages for businesses

Continuing with our series looking at the Government’s efforts to keep UK businesses afloat, we consider the spectrum of schemes on offer, including support for start-ups, the revamp of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) aimed at SMEs with a turnover of up to £45 million and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), aimed at companies with an annual turnover of over £45 million.

Read more on CBILS
Read more on CLBILS
Read more on support for Start-ups

D&O insurance and changes to UK insolvency law due to Covid-19

The current crisis is likely to expose many company directors to insolvency-related claims, even amid Government promises to do “whatever it takes” to save businesses. In this article, we assess how the recent changes to insolvency legislation will affect directors and officers insurance and what to look out for in policy coverage and exclusions.

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Consumer credit debt and Covid-19

The global pandemic has affected every business and household in some way: while a minority are seeing increased demand for their services and products, the majority are not – many operations are suspended altogether and others are significantly reduced. Additionally, with up to nine million workers furloughed or expected to be furloughed, the ability of many individuals to meet all of their monthly outgoings will be impacted.

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Pensions: important considerations for trustees and businesses

The unprecedented threat posed by the coronavirus means that trustees and employers face navigating a rapidly changing environment in their efforts to manage risks to their businesses, pension schemes and employees. With this in mind, our pensions specialists set out a preliminary list of important points to be considered in these challenging times.

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TCC declines to stop adjudication despite Covid-19

The recent judgment in Millchris Developments Ltd v Waters means that parties to construction contracts should expect adjudications to continue throughout the period of any lockdown and beyond. In this article, we explore the reasons behind this judgment and the resulting ramifications for the industry.

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Covid-19: guidance on compliance with data protection requirements

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations are implementing exceptional measures to protect the health and safety of their employees and customers while at the same time trying to preserve business continuity. In many cases, this means sharing information quickly and adapting their usual ways of working. This is likely to involve collecting and processing new types of data and adopting novel methods of communication. In responding to these challenges, it is important that organisations do not overlook their data protection obligations.

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Online trading: key compliance requirements

In recent weeks there has been a surge in ecommerce. Those trading online still need to take care to ensure their business is carried out in a legally compliant way including in relation to online contracts, consumer protection, data protection compliance and digital marketing. To assist businesses and organisations involved with online trading during these challenging times, we have summarised the key points to consider in this guidance note.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper

Penningtons Manches Cooper is a top 50 UK law firm with an unusually wide range of expertise and an expanded international footprint. We provide a highly personal service focussed on delivering the best results for our clients.

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