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.
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.
Is this the calm before the storm for business?
At the start of the COVID 19 pandemic many were predicting that this could be the busiest time ever for insolvency professionals. Early indications seemed to indicate this with many insolvency practitioners and lawyers experiencing an initial manic period of providing (often free) telephone advice, but most companies now appear to be hunkered down waiting for the lockdown to finish and surviving by utilising the rescue packages created by the Treasury.
Claire Morris (pictured below), joined Bermans in September 2006 as a trainee solicitor and is now a Partner in the property team. We spoke to her to learn more about her and her work.
Bermans has made two appointments to its Corporate team. The team, led by Jon Davage, welcomed Barney Leaf as a partner and Simon Nolan as a Solicitor from Laytons LLP.
Barney has over 20 years of corporate law experience and acts for international and domestic businesses in many sectors ranging from retail, online, law firms, insurance, finance and investment funds.
Joining Barney from Laytons will be his assistant solicitor, Simon Nolan. Simon will undertake the variety of corporate instructions that are generated by the varied portfolio of clients that Bermans acts for.
We appreciate that these are unprecedented times and as such we want to reassure you of our ability to operate effectively and continue to support and serve our clients.
We are an ISO 27001 accredited business and as part of our continuing certification we must be able to demonstrate that both a documented and tested Business Continuity Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan are in place.
L-R Martin March, Phil Farrelly and James Whittaker
North West commercial law firm Bermans, which is celebrating its 50th year in business, has made two key appointments to its busy restructuring team. The team, led by Phil Farrelly, welcomed Martin March as a partner and James Whittaker as a Senior Associate.
Martin has more than 20 years’ experience working in the insolvency and restructuring arena and joins the firm from Knights Plc. A well know face across the North West, Martin focuses on transactional and advisory work, acting for business owners, insolvency practitioners and other professionals in relation to business restructuring. He has been involved in a number of high-profile property related insolvencies involving distressed “investor funded developments”. His focus at Bermans will be on corporate transactions particularly property related insolvencies.
I have been asked by a GP Practice client to advise on the New to Partnership Payment which is a £20,000 payment to new Doctors (and others) who join a GP practice as a partner and is referred to in the Update issued 6th February (sections 2.14 – 2.16). NHS England Update to the GP contract agreement 2020/21 – 2023/24
Although the details are not yet fully decided by NHS England, and detailed guidance is yet to be provided, based on the Update, the payment is payable where:
Bermans marked 50 years in business on 4 February 2020 and partner Fergal O’Cleirigh explains how the firm has gone from strength to strength and how it has adapted to the changing legal landscape.
The firm, which has offices in Manchester and Liverpool, was set up in 1970 by Liverpool based litigation lawyer Keith Berman. In 1980 Keith left the UK for New York where he established a New York office for the firm. The New York and Liverpool offices split in the early 1980s to create two independent firms both bearing Keith’s name but continued to work closely together.
Guy Pattison (pictured below), joined Bermans in December 2006 and became a Partner in our Property team in 2017. We spoke to him to learn more about him and his work.