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Business interruption claims and COVID-19: Good news for SMEs but what happens now?

Andrew Koffman

On Friday 15 January 2021 the Supreme Court delivered its eagerly awaited judgment in the test case between the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and various insurers.  The FCA was acting on behalf of policyholder businesses disrupted by COVID-19.

To the relief of SMEs awaiting the decision, the court found heavily in favour of the policyholders.

It is estimated that 370,000 policyholders could be directly affected.

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Bermans Insolvency and Financial Rescue team

L-R Martin March, Phil Farrelly and James Whittaker

L-R Martin March, Phil Farrelly and James Whittaker

As we head into 2021 and the inevitable restructure of the economy as we (hopefully) return to some sort of normality, we thought it would be useful to share details about the depth of experience in our Insolvency team and to share some of their experiences during the lockdown.

Partner and Head of Insolvency, Phil Farrelly, will be known to many of you and has been with Bermans since 2005.  He is a familiar face on the North West legal scene and has extensive experience of acting for insolvency practitioners, ABL and other lenders and directors in all aspects of corporate insolvency.

The team has recently been strengthened with the arrival of two experienced insolvency solicitors.

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Notice pay under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Guidance has now been updated with an important change in relation to claiming for notice pay:-

Under the updated rules, an employer cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which the employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer (this includes people serving notice following a resignation).

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Contractual Considerations on Brexit

Chris McDonough

Chris McDonough

It is never too late to sort things out.  First published in 2018, this note, now updated, addresses how you may protect your business through your contracts, where border issues cause delays or prices need to be adjusted, and explains the new UKCA Mark.

Some questions you may ask yourself:

  • What happens if the borders are clogged up and I cannot deliver or receive goods
  • Who will be liable for tariffs in the event of a hard Brexit
  • Should I look at amending existing contracts or terminating contracts with a view to issuing new contracts
  • Will you have to register with a UK authority in place of an EU one?
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Don’t Let Your Debtors Lock You Down! November 2020 Update

Andrew Koffman

10 tips for reviewing and implementing your credit control procedures: Revisited

The impact of COVID-19 on businesses continues to be severe, as recent statistics show.

In the UK as a whole the most recent ONS statistics show that nearly 30% of businesses, which have not closed permanently, continue to regard themselves as at moderate or severe risk of insolvency.

 

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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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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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