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The Long and Winding Road to a Guarantor Recovery

Jonathan Berkson

Jonathan Berkson

Back in 2004, Porter Capital Corporation (“Porter”), a US finance Company based in Birmingham, Alabama, financed a US corporation (“Corporation”) via an invoice finance facility. To secure the finance, they took guarantees from three guarantors, one of whom lived in London and was a co-owner of a valuable Knightsbridge apartment on Hyde Park in London and shares in a family company. The finance documentation was expressed to be under Connecticut law.

By 2008, things were going wrong for the Corporation and by March 2010 just prior to the Corporation’s Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the US, Porter wrote making its demand for the account shortfall against the finance agreement’s three guarantors.

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The Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme comes to an end

Neil Gouldson

Will the Job Support Scheme help your business?

The Government’s furlough scheme (or the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme to give it its proper title) has been a lifeline for many employers and employees. It has allowed jobs to be retained at little cost to the employer and has bought everybody some time to allow them to get to grips with life during a pandemic.

The scheme is set to end on 31st October 2020 but sadly the pandemic has not gone anywhere so many businesses are still struggling to get back to their pre-March position and some employees may still have valid reasons why they can’t return to work.

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Covid as a Catalyst for Transformation

Andy Nicol

Andy Nicol is MD of Sputnik Digital, an innovation and digital engineering agency helping companies identify, build and maintain transformation programmes using technology.

He has helped optimise both customer facing and internal processes for clients incliuding GoCompare, Swinton Insurance, Fluent Money and Acino Pharma.

Having worked in the industry since 1998, Andy has built up experience in areas including design, development, UX and cloud services, and is able to share his view on how he has seen this deployed across a wide range of sectors.

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Business interruption claims and COVID-19: Good news for SME’s

Andrew Koffman

The High Court judgment, on Tuesday 15th September 2020, in the test case between the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), on behalf of a number of policyholders, and various insurance companies over business interruption and COVID-19 has been hailed as a lifeline for SMEs.

Many SMEs will be very relieved at the result.  The FCA estimated that 370,000 businesses could be affected by the test case; however not all will have been successful. Two out of 8 insurers successfully defended the claims against them.

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A helping hand to resolve shareholder disputes

Barney Leaf

It was sadly inevitable that the Covid pandemic would push the UK economy into a recession. Unfortunately, the money worries that result from a recession can and often do affect relationships, whether they be personal or business relations.

Even the strongest of relationships have been known to breakdown when finances are tight and the current situation may well have caused the most severe financial pressures that some business owners have ever experienced.

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Welcome news for commercial tenants but not for landlords

Michael Smeaton

The moratorium on evictions for tenants who are behind on their rent has been extended until the end of 2020. The restriction was set to be lifted on 30th September 2020 but the secretary of state for housing, Robert Jenrick, announced an extension to give struggling retailers and other businesses a chance to “focus on rebuilding their business over the autumn and Christmas period”.

The June quarter day saw less than 20% rental payments made and with the next rent quarter day having just passed (29th September 2020) landlords will be bracing themselves for more of the same.

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Is it time for some much needed business housekeeping?

Jon Davage

The last six months have presented significant challenges to business owners who have grappled with continuing their businesses in the face of restrictive lockdown rules imposed to combat the spread of Covid 19. Many business owners are now operating with a workforce of home workers and their typical working day differs significantly from their life pre-March 2020.

As face to face meetings, corporate events and travel have been stripped from the schedules, business owners may finally find some free time during their day to review the nuts and bolts of their business. That long-awaited review of the shareholding structure, the employee share scheme that has been in the offing for years, the review of key commercial contracts, for some there is now enough time in the working week to get around to these projects.

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Practical advice for Landlords and Tenants of commercial property

Guy Pattison

Guy Pattison

COVID 19 has left our city centres empty with office workers working from home and staying out of the office, shoppers shopping online with shops closed, restaurants and cafes closed or providing collection only services. As businesses have suffered a dramatic drop in revenue they have looked to reduce overheads in the short term to aid their survival.

One of the big overheads that they have been able to postpone is rent on commercial properties with emergency COVID 19 legislation ensuring that tenants cannot be evicted/leases forfeited for rent arrears.

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North West law firm report record turnover


Fergal O’Cleirigh

Bermans, the North West commercial law firm founded on 4 February 1970 by Keith Berman, has marked its 50th year by posting a record turnover figure for the 6th consecutive year, with an increase in fee income from £6,876,000 in 2018/19 to £7,439,000 for the financial year ending on 30th June.

The firm had planned a number of events during 2020 to celebrate the landmark date and so far, only an event in Manchester in February has been held but they are still hopeful of hosting a Liverpool event later in the year too.

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