Businesses, their owners and directors are facing an unprecedented period of uncertainty and disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, have recently announced wide ranging measures designed to reduce the impact on the UK economy, to protect jobs and to help businesses weather the storm, including the implementation of emergency legislation around areas like Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), the government paying 80% of employees’ salaries if placed on furlough leave, IR35 tax reforms being delayed until April 2021 and a series of grants and reliefs for businesses in specific sectors.
We have seen the introduction of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), for businesses with turnovers of up to £45 million, new legislation that aims to prevent landlords from forfeiting a commercial lease due to the non-payment of rent and a relaxation of the rules around insolvency and restructuring, to provide companies with greater flexibility when continuing to trade. Businesses will not have to pay VAT between now and the end of June and they will be given until the end of the financial year to make repayments, while companies can apply for an additional three months in which to file their annual accounts.
The Bank of England followed suit by cutting the base rate to a historic low of 0.1% and unveiled quantitative easing measures (the introduction of £200 billion of new money). The Chancellor suggested that both the Bank of England and the Government may make further announcements in the coming days and weeks.
How we can help you and your business
At Blandy & Blandy, we have the knowledge, expertise and experience to help and advise you during times of economic uncertainty, which can present your business with a series of immediate and longer term challenges.
We specialise in advising family and owner-managed businesses, and other large privately owned companies (SMEs), with turnovers of up to £100 million. We advise clients operating in most sectors, including retail, sports, leisure and hospitality, healthcare, property, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, charity and education, the public sector, marketing and advertising, IT and professional services.
We also have an established network of contacts, expert in advising businesses and individuals looking to restructure their business or its operations, including those in financially distressed situations.
We are currently advising clients on areas including:
- Advice regarding furlough leave under the new scheme.
- Restructuring and redundancies.
- Short term strategies for managing your workforce, including layoffs, reassignment, holiday and part-time hours.
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) legislation (including refunds for businesses with < 250 employees).
Corporate and commercial
- Directors’ duties and company law (including holding board meetings and signing off accounts).
- Commercial contracts (including their termination, flexibility, force majeure clauses and the doctrine of frustration).
- Mergers, acquisitions and sales of companies (include distressed businesses).
- Joint ventures and collaboration agreements.
Commercial Property and Planning Law
- Commercial Leases (including restructuring rental payments, break clauses, utilisation of rent deposits and guarantees).
- Property contracts.
- Development land projects.
- Change of use applications.
- Commercial contract disputes (including force majeure clauses and the doctrine of frustration).
- Shareholder disputes.
- Claims for breaches of warranties and representations.
Restructuring and Insolvency
- Restructuring and formal and informal insolvency processes.
- Cash flow issues (including extended Time To Pay arrangements with HMRC).
- Supply chain issues.
- Insurance coverage.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS”).
- Wills and estate planning (including tax & trusts).
- Lasting Powers of Attorney (including business LPAs).
- Residential property (including home mover, landlords and tenants).
- Queries, concerns and difficulties about child arrangements.
- Applications to set aside recently negotiated financial settlements which have been undermined by the impact of COVID-19.
- Maintenance variation applications where income has ended or been reduced.
- ‘Remote’ mediation.
- Arranging private alternatives in existing court proceedings (e.g. arbitration, private FDRs).
Whilst we are all adjusting to the impact of Coronavirus and the restrictions involved, Blandy & Blandy will be maintaining a full legal advice service. The vast majority of our team will be working remotely and we will be focussing on advising you by telephone, video conferencing and email rather than face to face meetings.
For further information or legal advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0118 951 6800.
This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.