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.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
Mike Smeaton (pictured below), joined Bermans as a trainee solicitor in 2008 and is now is a Senior Associate in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team in the firm’s Liverpool office.Continue Reading
The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA) became law on 26 June 2020. It contains some temporary provisions required as a result of COVID-19 and some permanent provisions that have been in the offing for a while which will make sweeping changes to the current insolvency rules.
The Temporary Provisions
The temporary provisions are aimed at providing businesses with some relief from problems created by the current COVID-19 pandemic including the temporary suspension of wrongful trading laws and the prohibition of the use of statutory demands and winding up petitions.Continue Reading
This article outlines the ramifications, in terms of employment law, of a return to the office workplace and offers some practical steps that can be taken.
The main issues that we plan to cover are employer considerations in preparing for the return of workers to the workplace, communicating information about new working procedures to staff and employee rights on the return to the workplace. There are some tips on employees travelling to and from work and the issues this may cause. We will also provide details of the Governments latest Furlough advice, including the Flexible Furlough Scheme and how this can be implemented.Continue Reading
Landlords cannot at present evict their tenants due to rent arrears, as one of a number of Government measures introduced to ease the burden on businesses due to the Coronavirus. Tenants will have welcomed this measure; their landlords almost certainly less so.
It makes no difference if the rent arrears pre-date the pandemic.
There are parallel – though slightly different – restrictions on landlords of residential properties. In this article we focus primarily on commercial leases, where there is a prohibition on landlords taking any repossession action through the courts, currently until 30 September.Continue Reading
Future Fund – access to growth capital for high growth companies
The Coronavirus pandemic has seen a reduction in the usual funding streams for some businesses and has forced the Government to think creatively about how they can support promising, infant companies. The result is the new Future Fund.
What is the Future Fund?
On the 20th May 2020 the Government launched another Coronavirus short term rescue package to support business. The Future Fund is aimed at helping pre-revenue or pre-profit companies that were struggling to qualify for other Government rescue packages.Continue Reading
Reviewing and implementing your credit control procedures
COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown are having a huge impact on the cashflow of most businesses. 25% of UK businesses have temporarily closed down; 38% of businesses still in operation have reported substantially lower turnover; and 36% of firms have 3 months or less of cash reserves left.
Inevitably this pressure on businesses is set to continue but there is also an opportunity for SMEs to improve your cash position by good housekeeping. The Government is encouraging a culture of forbearance between businesses at present but this should not require you to take an excessively lenient approach to recovering debts that are rightfully due.Continue Reading
With better days hoped for ahead, we ask what the Law Commission’s recommendations on extending time limits and enlarging Employment Tribunal jurisdiction may mean for employers.
Politically, there may be willingness in future days to recognise the contributions of workers during Covid-19, in a departure from the predominant mindset when the current Government swept into number 10. Certainly, the Prime Minister is one reported to be in reflective mood.
The Law Commission has no power to change the law, but the Government (under protocol) has to respond to the Commission’s report and historically more than two thirds of its recommendations have been implemented.Continue Reading