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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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David Keenan


David joined Bermans in 2020 following previous roles at national and international law firms specialising in sport. He has a degree in law and qualified in 2012.

He is a highly respected and experienced practitioner within sport and is recommended in Legal500 2021 as a “Rising Star” within sports law.

David regularly advises on both contentious and non-contentious issues with experience in a variety of sports including football, boxing and horse racing. His experience includes regularly advising sports participants (including players, athletes, managers, agents, owners and trainers) on contractual issues such as endorsement agreements, image rights, player/athlete contracts, promotional contracts and representation agreements. David is also regularly instructed on disciplinary and anti-doping matters as well as disputes (including FA Rule K Arbitrations, Premier League Rule X Arbitrations, disputes before FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber and Player’s Status Committee, high profile sporting disputes before civil courts and high level sports personal injury cases).

David is as a member of the Dispute, Disciplinary and Appeal Panel for British Canoeing and a Disciplinary Panel Member for Lancashire FA.


Tel: 0151 224 0524

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Emma Norman-Jones

Emma Norman-Jones

Emma Norman-Jones

Trainee Solicitor

Emma joined our Liverpool office as a trainee solicitor in the Litigation department in September 2020.

Previous to his role at Bermans, she worked as a Paralegal at other leading law firms in Liverpool.

Emma graduated with a degree in Law from Newcastle University in 2019 and received a distinction from the LPC MSc.

She assists the Litigation team by undertaking the following:

  • Drafting formal letters to landlords re tenancy disputes relating to implied and express covenants;
  • Providing a summary of the position in relation to applications to set as default judgement and JCT contracts; and
  • Drafting letters before claim.

Emma lives in West Lancashire and is a keen sportsperson, she is a member of Ormskirk Netball Club and spends time at the gym and running.  She is also a member of the Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division.



T: 0151 224 0500


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Chris Brain

chris-brain-webTrainee Solicitor

Chris joined our Manchester office as a trainee solicitor in the Litigation department in September 2020.

Previous to his role at Bermans, he worked as a Corporate Analyst for Carteret Capital (Carteret Group) sourcing finance, predominantly for football clubs.

Chris graduated with an LLB from University of Liverpool in 2019.

He is currently working within the litigation department and duties include drafting pleadings/statements of case, conducting legal research on an array of matters/areas, attending meetings and conference calls, file management/review, and liaising with clients and counsel. He has experience of working on commercial disputes, property disputes, issues relating to probate, partnership disputes, and many other areas.

He lives in Cheshire and plays 7-a-side football and likes to spend time with his friends and family.



T: 0161 827 4600


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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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Forfeiture of Commercial Leases

Andrew Koffman

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.

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