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UK

UK insights

Our team in the UK have been creating the Insights below to help you navigate through the significant operational and commercial challenges in the country.
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Latest Insights

Commercial Insights

 
Commercial Insights

30 July 2020: Updated Government guidance on responsible behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by COVID-19

Coming into force today, Friday 24 July 2020, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 (the "Regulations") require members of the public to wear a face covering, being either a fabric covering, scarf or bandana which covers a person's nose and mouth while inside all relevant places across England. Read more >

29 April 2020: Modern slavery reporting guidance during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

In light of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and subsequent impact on businesses' supply chains, the Government has issued new guidance advising businesses that they will need to consider how changes to their operating model and fluctuations in demand during the pandemic may lead to new or increased risks of human trafficking or labour exploitation. This article looks at the Government's advice in more detail. Read more >

23 April 2020: Staying socially responsible in advertising

We've taken a look at the ASA's position on social responsibility and considered what can be shown in ads in light of social distancing and the regulations placed around shopping. Read more >

6 April 2020: Covid-19: Top tips for balancing contractual obligations and sustainability

Our top tips for businesses who are having to balance managing their ongoing contractual obligations with ensuring long term sustainability. Read more >

30 March 2020: Helping businesses with flexible resource

In this challenging time, where balancing cost control and business continuity is more crucial than ever, it may not have crossed your mind to use a freelance consultant to help optimise your business' operation. Read more >

17 March 2020: European Commission confirms it will give "maximum flexibility on State aid" to allow Member States to support businesses affected by Covid-19, while the UK announces a series of measures itself

The European Commission confirms it will provide "maximum flexibility" on State aid rules to support sectors affected by the Coronavirus pandemic such as aviation, transport and tourism, as the UK Government separately announces a £12bn stimulus package to counter UK Coronavirus shock. Read more >

10 March 2020: Coronavirus: are your contracts safe?

Fears of the impact of COVID-19 on commercial contracts have been elevated with the WHO announcing that the world must be prepared for a pandemic and some buyers already declaring force majeure in their contracts. In this article we consider some of the outbreak's potential effects. Read more >

Data Protection Insights

 
Data Protection Insights

31 March 2020: Technology Solutions Checklist

To help companies which are developing technology solutions to help predict, mitigate or contain the spread of COVID-19, we have compiled a checklist of points to consider. Read more >

17 March 2020: Supporting clients with critical Data Protection & Cyber Security issues

Our experts address key issues for businesses to consider in relation to data protection and cyber security issues. Read more >

17 March 2020: When all employees work from home

Working from home, potentially from employees' own devices, has data protection related consequences that employers need to take into consideration. Read more >

Dispute Resolution Insights

 
Dispute Resolution Insights

13 May 2020: Pandemic petitions

What to do if your business is faced with the threat of being wound up. Read more > 

17 April 2020: Time to raise the service game

Problems arising from the COVID-19 crisis have highlighted the need to allow electronic service of court documents in Scotland. Read more > 

3 April 2020: Coronavirus and Force Majeure clauses in business to consumer contracts

This article considers the operation of Force Majeure clauses in business to consumer contracts where a business has been prevented or delayed in performing their contractual obligations as a result of Coronavirus. Read more > 

EU and Competition Law Insights

 
EU and Competition Law Insights

29 May 2020: Project Birch: Treasury plans to use State aid to bail out some of the UK's largest companies as the COVID-19 pandemic bites

UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has authorised a bold rescue plan named “Project Birch” to provide State assistance to strategically important companies whose failure would "disproportionately harm the UK economy". Reports state that the Government is planning to offer preferential loans or take equity in strategically important companies, but only as a last resort.  This marks a significant change in approach for the UK Government, which has previously been focused on supporting companies through grants and loans. Read more >

6 May 2020: Government loan to Rugby League in the wake of COVID-19, raises questions about whether other sports should be supported through State aid

The UK Government has awarded a £16m loan to the Rugby Football League in order to "protect the entire sport" from COVID-19 hardship. The move raises questions about whether public funding should support other sports, such as football and rugby union, and how such interventions can be structured to comply with State aid law. Read more >

6 April 2020: European Commission approves UK scheme to allow all public authorities to grant Coronavirus related State aid awards of up to €800,000

The UK has received approval for a State aid scheme making use of the new options available under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. Read more >

1 April 2020: COVID-19 and Competition law: CMA guidance on business cooperation during the crisis

The CMA published a guidance outlining its approach to businesses cooperating during the COVID-19 crisis and explaining what arrangements could be legal under competition law during the crisis. Read more >

26 March 2020: State aid and COVID-19: UK's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme approved by European Commission

Two newly approved UK State aid schemes comprising the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will allow the UK Government to provide loan guarantees for and direct grants to support SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been approved by the European Commission following its newly adopted Temporary Framework for emergency State aid to business affected by the pandemic. Read more >

20 March 2020: European Commission adopts new State aid exemptions to allow Governments

The European Commission has adopted an emergency measure to enable all EU Member States to create schemes to allow their own various arms of State to make direct grants to individual businesses of up to €800,000 each by way of emergency relief during the pandemic. Read more >

19 March 2020: UK responds to COVID 19 with £330bn of additional support measures for businesses, whilst the European Commission announces special measures to temporarily relax State aid rules

The UK government has announced a major extension to the support for businesses provided for in the budget last week.  Meanwhile the European Commission has announced a draft proposal for temporary relaxation of State aid rules to enable public authorities to introduce further selective business support measures across the EU in the wake of the crisis. Read more >

17 March 2020: European Commission confirms it will give "maximum flexibility on State aid" to allow Member States to support businesses affected by COVID-19, while the UK announces a series of measures itself

The European Commission confirms it will provide "maximum flexibility" on State aid rules to support sectors affected by the Coronavirus pandemic such as aviation, transport and tourism, as the UK Government separately announces a £12bn stimulus package to counter UK Coronavirus shock. This article details the steps EU Member States can take to support citizens and businesses facing economic difficulties during this time.  Read more > 

Employment Insights

 
Employment Insights

29 June 2020: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Treasury Direction published covering flexible furlough

The Chancellor has issued a further Treasury Direction providing the legal framework to the new flexible furlough available from 1 July 2020 under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS").  Read more >

15 June 2020: CJRS: Flexible furlough HMRC guidance published

Following the Chancellor's announcement that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS") is changing, introducing a new flexible furlough and employer contributions, the much anticipated guidance has been published providing the essential detail. Read more >

2 June 2020: The COVID-19 journey so far – The UK

The story so far for the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic and what returning to the workplace in the post-lockdown environment may look like. Read more >

COVID-19: Key global employment considerations as businesses manage the return to work

With social, economic and cultural norms changing at an unprecedented level, employers have the responsibility to protect their workforce and support their employees through the process of returning to the 'new norm' working environment. Read more >

1 June 2020: CJRS: Chancellor announces flexible furloughing and employer contributions

The Chancellor has outlined the updated Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS") with maximum flexibility for employers to allow Britain to get back to work.  Read more >

26 May 2020: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Further Treasury Direction issued

The Chancellor has made a further Treasury Direction providing clarity on the legal framework to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS") and addressing some of the inconsistencies with HMRC's guidance. Read more >

22 May 2020: Stay alert: protect your employees' mental health whilst they work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

This year, Mental Health Awareness week falls at a time where employee mental health and wellbeing is a prime consideration. We take a look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health and what employers can do to support employees. Read more > 

12 May 2020: Back to work: an overview of the practical implications for employers

As the UK government publishes its strategy to bring the UK out of lockdown, we explore the key considerations that employers will need to bear in mind when re-opening their workplaces and encouraging employees to return to work. Read more >

12 May 2020: Returning your workforce: Checklist of data protection considerations

COVID-19 cuts across a large number of data protection issues in the employment context. Read more >

11 May 2020: Returning your workforce: Checklist of regulatory considerations

As the UK prepares to return to work as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, our checklist will enable you to assess and control the risks for your business as lockdown measures are eased. Read more >

11 May 2020: Returning your workforce: Checklist of employment considerations

Change is the "new normal" as the UK prepares to return to work, our checklist brings together everything your business needs to consider from an employment perspective.  Read more >

Managing your workplace post-lockdown 

With the UK Government easing lockdown measures and setting out a roadmap to allow businesses to open their doors for employees to return to work, we understand that some organisations will be planning the steps they need to take to return their people to the workplace. Read more >

COVID-19: The key challenges facing employers across the globe

As employers across the globe come to terms with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we take a look at the key challenges facing employers in a range of jurisdictions across the world. Read more >

28 April 2020: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Latest amendments

As the online portal enters its second week, further amendments have been made to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS") providing some clarity. Read more >

20 April 2020: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Fifth update made by the UK government on 17 April

As the CJRS is extended to the end of June the government published a further update to the CJRS guidance. Read more >

17 April 2020: CJRS - The legal framework for the CJRS

The Chancellor has made a Treasury Direction providing the legal framework to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Read more >

15 April 2020: CJRS - Fourth update made by the UK government on 15 April

The eligibility date of the PAYE payroll scheme has changed from 28 February to 19 March 2020 in the latest update to the guidance. Read more >

14 April 2020: CJRS - Third update made by the UK government on 9 April

The latest instalment of the guidance provides welcome assistance for employers. Read more >

9 April 2020: Why set up or extend the use of an employee share scheme now?

In this difficult economic climate share schemes could be a valuable option for employee remuneration. Read more >

6 April 2020: CJRS: Second update made by the UK government on 4 April

The government has updated its guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme after being inundated with queries as to how the scheme works in practice. Read more >

1 April 2020: Adjusted right to work checks

We outline how right to work checks are being adapted due to COVID-19 challenges. Read more >

31 March 2020: Annual leave carry over restrictions relaxed

The government has amended the Working Time Regulations 1998, relaxing the rules on carrying over annual leave to support key industries. Read more >  

27 March 2020: New support for the self-employed

The government has launched new measures to assist self-employed individuals and launched the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.  Read more >

27 March 2020: CJRS - 1st update made by the Government on 26 March

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been introduced as a temporary measure to assist employers and employees. Read more >

24 March 2020: Gender pay gap reporting suspended

The decision has been taken that enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines will be suspended for this reporting year (2019/2020). Read more >

23 March 2020: CJRS - Support for businesses announced through Job Retention Scheme

The government has confirmed that they intend for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least three months from 1 March 2020. Read more >

20 March 2020: Proposed Wage Subsidy

We outline what we expect the Chancellor will include within the Wage Subsidy. Read more >

20 March 2020: Employers asked to stick by their employees whilst employment and wage subsidy package is finalised

The Chancellor is expected to announce the latest fiscal attempt to help protect UK businesses imminently. Read more >

19 March 2020: Obligations under the new IR35 rules

Implementation of the rules has now been postponed to 6 April 2021, but businesses will still need to be prepared and ready for the new regime. Read more >

19 March 2020: Changes to off-payroll working rules postponed

As part of its response to COVID-19, the Government has postponed the implementation of changes to off-payroll working. Read more > 

17 March 2020: What are the practical implications for employers?

Employers are facing unprecedented challenges in terms of their business and their people. Read more >

Financial Services Insights

 
Financial Services Insights

10 July 2020: UK Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill 2020 receives Royal Assent followed by new PPF Regulations

Introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the Bill) received Royal Assent on 25 June 2020. Following just one month of consultation, certain modifications have been made to the draft Bill published on 20 May 2020, and these are discussed in this article.  Read more >

4 June 2020: COVID-19: Overview of key regulatory measures in financial services across Europe – June 2020

This newsletter summarises the latest regulatory developments across Europe in response to COVID-19 and is relevant to individuals working in financial services across Europe. This edition focuses on the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Poland. Read more >

27 May 2020: UK Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

On 20 May 2020, the UK government published its draft Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the "Bill") which aims to help companies maximise their chances of survival during the pandemic. Read more >

7 May 2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Bounce Back Loan Scheme

In this article we outline some of the main features of the UK government's recently launched business bounce back loan scheme which is designed to help small and medium sized UK businesses overcome the financial impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more >

29 April 2020: COVID-19: Overview of key regulatory measures in financial services across Europe - 29th April 2020

This newsletter summarises the latest regulatory developments across Europe in response to COVID-19 and is relevant to individuals working in financial services across Europe. This edition focuses on the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland. Read more >

22 April 2020: Coronavirus: Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The UK government has extended the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to medium and large size businesses.Read more >

17 April 2020: COVID-19 and the pensions obligations of employers – Further TPR guidance

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has now provided welcome clarification on some of the key issues affecting employers and their pensions obligations in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more >

9 April 2020: The impact of COVID-19 on share schemes 

If employers choose to furlough employees under the temporary Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it is important to understand the impact this could have on existing employee share schemes. Read more >

9 April 2020: HMRC's response in insolvency situations

HMRC has confirmed its approach to insolvency during the Coronavirus pandemic. Read more >

7 April 2020: FCA proposes temporary measures arising from COVID-19

The FCA have proposed a range of targeted measures to quickly support borrowers of certain consumer credit products who are facing a financial impact. Read more >

3 April 2020: UK Government Announces Amendments to Insolvency Laws

The UK Government has announced plans to bring forward legislation to amend the UK's insolvency laws. Read more >

2 April 2020: COVID-19 and the Pensions Obligations of Employers and Trustees

We discuss the importance for employers still striving to meet their pensions obligations during these difficult times, along with the issues The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has considered with regard to COVID-19. Read more >

26 March 2020: How to execute deals in the current situation

A brief look as to how we can continue to execute deals whilst working remotely. Read more >

25 March 2020: Funding Arrangements – What Next?

We provide guidance to businesses in respect of existing funding arrangements, and the newly proposed government backed lending. Read more >

24 March 2020: COVID-19 - pensions pinch points

The outbreak of COVID-19 is affecting all aspects of our daily lives, but what issues should pension scheme trustees and employers be considering amid the uncertainty we face? Read more >

20 March 2020: PE Funds batten down the hatches

Read the latest from our Private Equity experts on how COVID-19 is impacting the stock market. Read more >

20 March 2020: FCA top tips for firms to stay on the right side of the regulator

We've outlined our top tips for firms trying to maintain business as usual, treat their customers and employees fairly and satisfy their regulator. Read more >

17 March 2020: Advice for issuers and sponsors of debt capital products

In response to the threat of potential disruption to financial markets, this article considers what actions issuers and sponsors of debt capital products should take. Read more >

Insurance Insights

 
Insurance Insights

30 September 2020: The risks associated with virtual will witnessing during the pandemic

Alexia Drew and Harriet Quiney discuss the new rules in the Wills Act 1837 which have been developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic and how, turning to technology for solutions, poses its own problems, and may lead to increased numbers of invalid wills and claims against solicitors and other will-making professionals. Read more >

Judgement handed down in the FCA business interruption insurance test case

On the 15th September the Court handed down Judgment in the FCA's test case, which was brought with the co-operation of the 8 insurers involved to test the response of a number of extensions in business interruption insurance policies. Read more >

13 August 2020: Private healthcare providers: economic opportunities, risks and the COVID-19 legacy?

With the NHS in England facing a multi-billion pound budget shortfall over the coming years, key challenges remain in driving improvements in quality and integration of care delivery to ensure that people live healthier as well as longer lives. Read more >

15 June 2020: Chief Coroner's Guidance No. 38: Remote Participation in Coronial Proceedings

The Chief Coroner's Guidance No.38 details that it is now the Chief Coroner's view that partially remote hearings should take place wherever possible. However, partially remote hearings will not be suitable, save in the most exceptional circumstances, for any jury inquests. Read more >

8 June 2020: National Framework released for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Prisons

The Ministry of Justice ("MoJ") and Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service ("HMPPS") have outlined their National Framework for Prisons in dealing with the next stage of COVID-19, including a five stage regime. Read more >

5 June 2020: COVID-19 – A look at the latest amendments to police powers

A summary of the latest changes to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. Read more > 

1 April 2020: Lockdown Police powers: the Police response to the Coronavirus

On 26 March 2020, the government brought in 'lockdown laws' and the police have been given an unprecedented role in the fight against Coronavirus, with powers they could not have imagined they would use. Read more >

31 March 2020: Chief Coroner Guidance - COVID-19

The Chief Coroner has now published guidance for all coroners about the approach to COVID-19. It applies to reports of death and coroner investigations in England and Wales only, and is intended to provide additional guidance for the exercise of judicial decisions "in the context of extraordinary pressures which are present".Read more >

30 March 2020: COVID-19 For Insurers: Risk, Reputation and Response

The COVID-19 virus has dislocated every aspect of normal social, family and business life. There are no precedents. There is no guide as to how we should respond. The situation is fast-moving and extremely concerning. For insurers the challenges are enormous. Every class of business is affected. Read more > 

24 Feburary 2020: Coronavirus: The insurance market impact

Jonathan Moss, Head of Marine and Trade at DWF comments on the repercussions of the pandemic on the Insurance industry. Read more >

Public Sector Insights

 
Public Sector Insights

17 August 2020: State aid: €6 billion public funding approved to help German public transport services recover from COVID-19 pandemic

The European Commission has granted State aid approval for a €6 billion scheme to help regional and local public transport services in Germany recover from the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more > 

4 August 2020: Getting Building Fund: Government publishes £900m allocation for “shovel ready projects”

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Government  launched the “Getting Building Fund” a £900m programme administered by England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships. All awards will need to comply with State aid law and in this article we explore some of the ways this can be achieved. Read more >

17 July 2020: How state aid issues can arise in public sector rent deferrals and other commercial property transactions

In this article, we look into some of the ways State aid issues can arise in public sector property transactions, the ramifications and ways to proceed within the rules. 

10 July 2020: State aid and the aviation-sector

KLM and Luftansa benefit from public funding as Ryanair launches challenges. Read more > 

3 July 2020: GBER and other State aid exemptions are extended and amended to reflect the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis

The European Commission has announced a series of changes to EU State aid exemptions, recognising the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The headline change is the extension of multiple existing exemptions, in some cases until 2023. Read more >

3 July 2020: UK Government COVID-19 Update, 3 July 2020

Issue 14, 3 July 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update. Read more >

2 July 2020: PM Johnson announces Rooseveltian "New Deal", committing to accelerated spending for hospitals, roads, rail and schools and other local growth development projects

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced over £5bn worth of projects, which together with a taskforce named “Project Speed” are intended to bring the UK out of the COVID-19 pandemic by putting infrastructure at the heart of the recovery plan and in so doing, building back better, greener and faster. Read more >

1 July 2020: Local lockdown FAQs

With the Health Secretary's announcement on Monday night of the first local lockdown in the UK, more information is available regarding how a local lockdown will occur, but it has raised questions about the legal measures underpinning lockdowns and local support measures which may be required as a result. Our team has put together a list of FAQs setting out the detail known so far. Read more >

30 June 2020: State aid law: the "Undertaking in difficulty" test is relaxed enabling more businesses to receive public funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework

On the 29 June 2020, there was welcome news for many organisations which have previously been rejected from obtaining public funding due to the  inclusion of the "undertaking in difficulty" test in the State aid Temporary Framework, which has meant that those not satisfying this test as at the end of December 2019 were excluded from support. Read more >

29 June 2020: Councils warn of s114 notices amid extensive budget shortfalls due to COVID-19 expenditure

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant financial strain on local authorities. As a result, finance directors are increasingly considering issuing s114 notices amid extensive budget shortfalls. On 11 June 2020, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting announced that its s114 guidance to Chief Financial Officers has been temporarily modified, allowing councils more time to consider alternative options, in attempt to avoid disruptive action during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more >

26 June 2020: UK Government COVID-19 Update, 26 June 2020

Issue 13, 26 June 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update. Read more >

26 June 2020: Project Birch: UK Government set to announce rescue deal with Tata Steel

Project Birch is the UK Government's new emergency assistance plan under which public funding shall be made available to strategically important, large companies across all sectors in the UK with the objective of ensuring these survive the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.   It is reported that the UK Government is close to agreeing a deal with Tata Steel to help preserve up to 8,000 jobs.  If confirmed, then this would be Government's first "Project Birch" intervention that has been made public. Read more >

19 June 2020: UK Government COVID-19 Update, 19 June 2020

Issue 12, 19 June 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update. Read more > 

18 June 2020: New powers for councils in England are the latest measures announced to get the public cycling

From 22 June, local authorities will have new powers to keep cyclists safe. The plans, announced by the Department of Transport, are part of the Government's aim to build a "greener, healthier and more resilient transport network". We look at the measures announced so far, the impact of COVID-19 and the future of cycling schemes for local authorities. Read more >

15 June 2020: Government seeks list of "shovel ready" projects from LEPs and Mayoral Combined Authorities by Thursday 18 June

The Financial Times reports that the UK Government is planning to unveil a significant economic stimulus package in July 2020.  As part of the preparation process, the country's Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities have been asked to submit lists of "shovel ready" capital projects by Thursday 18th June 2020.   The move comes with only 200 days until the transition period with the EU is scheduled to come to an end, raising questions about the long term replacement for the UK's EU funds, the United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund. Read more >

12 June 2020: UK Government COVID-19 Update, 12 July 2020

Issue 11, 12 June 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update. Read more >

10 June 2020: UK Government updates guidance to public bodies in respect of Covid-19 supplier relief measures

The UK Government has issued the new PPN 04/20  guidelines to public bodies inviting them to review and consider implementing appropriate exit plans for any relief measures which they have put in place to assist their "at risk" suppliers pursuant to the PPN 02/20 guidelines issued in March 2020. Read more >

10 June 2020: COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility: £18.8 billion of public funding provided to over 50 businesses including Tottenham Hotspur, Ryanair and Rolls Royce

On 4th June 2020, the Bank of England published details of the awards it has made using the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility ("CCFF").  Since March 2020, over £18 billion of short term liquidity support has been provided to large, investment grade businesses, many of which are household names. The announcement of the awards is likely to increase the pressure on the UK Government to extend the CCFF to other businesses. Read more >

5 June 2020: UK Government COVID-19 Update, 5 June 2020

Issue 10, 05 June 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update. Read more > 

29 May 2020: UK Government COVID-19 update, 29 May 2020

Issue 9, 29 May 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update. Read more > 

15 May 2020: Challenges ahead for State aid to airports and airlines

A perfect storm is developing in the aviation sector with Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary pledging to use State aid law to challenge many of the rescue measures provided to rival carriers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In this article we explore the likely impact of such litigation and look at recent State aid approvals relating to airlines and airports. Read more >

15 May 2020: State aid law: European Commission amends COVID-19 Temporary Framework to faciltate recapitalisation aid and subsordinated debt awards

In a move which is likely to facilitate multiple European government bail outs of airlines, sports, leisure and hospitality companies and possibly even carmakers and others under the most acute pressure from the COVID-19 crisis, the European Commission has further amended its State aid Temporary Framework to allow for recapitalisation aid and subordinated debt instruments. Read more >  

7 May 2020: £617m Coronavirus top up fund:  Councils given additional funding to support small businesses affected by lockdown

Small businesses which have seen a significant fall in income due to the Coronavirus lockdown will be able to receive grants of up to £25,000 under a new £617m "top up" fund.  The support will be provided on a discretionary basis by local authorities.  The scheme is focussed upon businesses with less than 50 employees, in particular those who have so far not been eligible for other Coronavirus grant support. Read more >

6 May 2020: COVID-19 Adult Social Care considerations for Local Authorities

This note summarises some key considerations for Local Authorities ("LAs") in light of the Care Act 'easements' and the Government's Action Plan for Adult Social Care ("Action Plan"). Read more > 

29 April 2020: UK Government announces "Bounce Back Loans" for small and medium sized businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic

The UK Government has announced a new public funded initiative, "Bounce Back Loans" under which small and medium-sized businesses may borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 from a list of accredited lenders.  No fees or interest will need to be paid by the recipient of the loan for the first twelve months and the Government will provide a guarantee covering 100% of the loan to the lender. Read more >

24 April 2020: UK Government announces £1.25 billion "Coronavirus Relief Package" for innovative firms hit by Coronavirus, including £500m Future Fund and £750m additional R&D "innovation" funding for SMEs

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, has announced two new Government funds worth £1.25 billion. The Future Fund is worth £500m and will support high-growth companies impacted by the crisis and the £750m Innovate UK fund will offer grants and loans to SMEs involved in research, development and innovation. Read more >

Real Estate Insights

 
Real Estate Insights

29 June 2020: The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020: what does it mean for the real estate sector?

Read the latest update from our real estate experts on what the Corporate Insolvency and Government Act 2020 could mean for the real estate sector. Read more >

25 June 2020: Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic

Read the latest update from our real estate experts on the Code of Practice and the challenges COVID-19 has created. Read more >

24 June 2020: The COVID-19 crisis shows the need for the modernisation of the land registration process

Read the latest update from Miles Sinclair and Tom Hubbard who discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to modernise land registration process. Read more >

1 May 2020: Commercial Real Estate - Registers of Scotland new digital submissions service

Read the latest update from our Scottish Real Estate team. Read more > 

28 April 2020: COVID-19: How to comply with the 2m rule on construction sites

Read the latest from our Real Estate team as they discuss the 2 metre rule, how it can be applied, what to do when you can't apply it and risk assessment considerations on construction sites. Read more > 

28 April 2020: COVID-19 Guidance Note: Building Regulations – application during COVID-19 pandemic

Read the latest from our Real Estate team as they discuss building regulations, with some practical guidance to follow during the pandemic. Read more >

8 April 2020: The Future of Offices

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the breadth of our socio-economic landscape, forcing all businesses to adapt quickly to the 'new normal'. Notably we are now seeing an obligatory homeworking experiment taking place globally, with millions of people now forced to carry out their day jobs from their own homes in order to comply with social distancing rules. Read more >

6 April 2020: COVID-19 paints a dark picture for construction sector

Kate Kirby, Construction & Infrastructure Partner at global legal business, DWF, comments on the CIPS/IHS Markit construction PMI figures for March 2020. Read more >

3 April 2020: COVID-19 Guidance Note: what does is mean for real estate in Scotland?

Our team assess the impact of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and issues for landlord and tenants in Scotland against the background of many tenants ceasing  to continue rent payments following compulsory closure of shops and other business on account of COVID-19. Read more >

2 April 2020: COVID-19 Guidance Note: access to residential properties for Landlords to carry out repairs/maintenance

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented challenges for both landlords and tenants, with much uncharted territory ahead. Read more >

27 March 2020: Construction contracts, COVID-19 and Force Majeure

A quick summary of the potential impacts and what Contractors and Clients should look out for in light of COVID-19 under popular construction contracts. Read more >

26 March 2020: Coronavirus Act 2020: what does it mean for real estate?

Our team assess the passing of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and what it means for the real estate sector and businesses. Read more >

23 March 2020: COVID-19 & Contractual Obligations: A Strategic Approach

This note considers the effect of COVID-19 on contractual relationships with a focus on force majeure and the doctrine of frustration under English law. Read more >

23 March 2020: Applying lateral thinking to your current real estate planning considerations

The outbreak of COVID-19 has required some lateral thinking and application of common sense to the approach to planning rules, such as  temporary rights to changes of use for pubs and restaurants, relaxations in delivery times and changes to the Planning Inspectorate's approach to appeals. Read more >

19 March 2020: COVID-19: Can business tenants stop paying rents?

Read our latest update on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting rental payments. Read more >

19 March 2020: Considerations around rent concessions

Many Landlords and Tenants of commercial properties have been having a tough time in the current economic climate and now COVID-19 has added a further unwelcome and major dimension. Read more >

19 March 2020: The Impact of COVID-19 within the Real Estate Sector – what we know so far

As we are all aware the impact of COVID-19 has had far reaching impacts on the global economy and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We are very aware of the struggles and concerns of our real estate sector clients at this time. Read more >

Retail, Food & Hospitality Insights

 
Retail, Food & Hospitality Insights

5 May 2020: Guidance on cancellations and refunds during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

With a rapid increase in the number of consumer complaints regarding cancellations and refunds due to the impact of COVID-19, this article examines new guidance provided by the CMA regarding this developing issue. Read more >

23 April 2020: Staying socially responsible in advertising whilst staying socially distanced in life

We are all at home, shops are largely closed and advertising is minimal. We've taken a look at the ASA's position on social responsibility and considered what can be shown in ads in light of social distancing and the regulations placed around shopping. Read more >

16 April 2020: Pricing practices guidance during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

With the rapid global spread of COVID-19, the sudden demand and consequent strain on supply chains has had a significant impact on the retail sector. This article looks at the CMA's approach to price inflation. Read more >

14 April 2020: Food supply chains & COVID-19: New power to investigate disruption

Analysis of an as yet untriggered power provides an insight into how the Government and Devolved Administrations could compel participants in food supply chains to provide information in the near future. Read more > 

3 April 2020: FAQs: the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Food and Hospitality Grant Fund

The Government has launched the Small Business Grant Fund ("SBGF") and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund ("RHLGF") which shall make grant awards to eligible businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more >

23 March 2020: Avoid scaremongering and advertise responsibly

The ASA published its regulatory approach in the context of COVID-19; Katharine Mason, Director in our Regulatory, Compliance and Investigations team spent a weekend absorbing ads and considering what steps advertisers need to take to remain responsible. Read more >

23 March 2020: Repurposing of Hotel and Leisure Premises – Key Considerations

Recent reports suggest that hotel and leisure premises may need to be repurposed to support emergency and essential services in light of the COVID-19 crisis, we consider the implications on such businesses. Read more >

Transport Insights

 
Transport Insights

20 August 2020: International trade logistics and the economic impact of COVID-19

As the world's economies cautiously reopen and the world grapples with the new 'normal', COVID-19's latent effects are still unfelt. COVID-19 has altered the workforce composition, shocked supply chains, and forced commercial agility. Read more >

7 April 2020: COVID-19 contract disruption routes to success

Assessing the key challenges of disrupted construction projects -- force majeure is just one consideration under COVID-19 conditions. Read more >

7 April 2020: Furloughing a Transport Manager: When is it ok?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is available to the road haulage industry, but when can a Transport Manager be furloughed? Read more >

7 April 2020: COVID-19: Annual Inspections for Dangerous Goods Vehicles

This update provides guidance surrounding the exemption from dangerous goods (ADR) annual inspections for hauliers until further notice. Read more > 

25 March 2020: COVID-19 - Contingency and Emergency Planning in Transport

We take a look at what the recent Senior Traffic Commissioner legislative guidance document means for operators following the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more >

Tax Insights

 
Tax Insights

23 July 2020: Update on the Enterprise Management Incentive Scheme and Furloughed Employees

On Tuesday, 21 July 2020, the Government published the draft Finance Bill 2020. This included provisions preventing EMI scheme share options granted to employees from suffering a "disqualifying event" due to being furloughed, on unpaid leave or working reduced hours as a result of COVID-19. Read more >

2 June 2020: Comply in July: For many businesses, this month is key for tax compliance

July is a key month for employer tax compliance and businesses should take care to ensure that they do not overlook forthcoming key compliance dates.  Read more >

1 May 2020: Coronavirus: Tax reliefs and support for businesses in Scotland

The Scottish government has announced specific measures to support Scottish businesses and protect the Scottish economy. Read more >

23 April 2020: Coronavirus: Tax reliefs and support to businesses in Wales

In addition to the relief provided by the UK Government, the Welsh Government has announced financial support in the sum of £1.9 billion to assist businesses and workers in Wales to deal with the impact of COVID-19. Read more >

9 April 2020: The impact of COVID-19 on share schemes

If employers choose to furlough employees under the temporary Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it is important to understand the impact this could have on existing employee share schemes.

Read more >

9 April 2020: HMRC's COVID-19 response in insolvency situations

HMRC has confirmed its approach to insolvency during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >

4 April 2020: Why set up or extend the use of an employee share scheme now?

In this difficult economic climate share schemes could be a valuable option for employee remuneration. Read more > 

24 March 2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Government Support for Growth Capital Companies

Confirmation that the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available to SEIS/EIS investee companies and a summary of the grants and reliefs made available by the Government as a result of COVID-19 that could be utilised by such companies. Read more >

23 March 2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tax Reliefs and Support to Businesses

A summary of the key measures and packages introduced by the Chancellor on Friday to support and assist businesses and employers during this difficult period. Read more >

19 March 2020: IR35: changes to off-payroll working rules postponed

As part of its response to COVID-19, the Government has postponed the implementation of changes to off-payroll working. Read more > 

Further Insights

 
Further Insights

11 August 2020: COVID-19 Early Outbreak Management – Could your business be dealing with a crisis sooner than you think?

Public Health England ('PHE') has published a series of action cards providing step by step guidance to help businesses quickly identify, report and respond to any potential COVID-19 outbreak. An outbreak is deemed to be when one or more confirmed cases of coronavirus occur in a business; a threshold much lower than many businesses may have initially thought. Read more >

3 August 2020: COVID-19 and Employer's Duties under RIDDOR

We take a look at the HSE's recent statistics of COVID-19 related cases by businesses under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 ('RIDDOR'), and how the dramatic increase in reports demonstrates how businesses have been erring on the side of caution in reporting policies. Read more >

23 July 2020: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020

Coming into force today, Friday 24 July 2020, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 (the "Regulations") require members of the public to wear a face covering, being either a fabric covering, scarf or bandana which covers a person's nose and mouth while inside all relevant places across England. Read more >

1 July 2020: Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill: The impact on contracts

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill aims to help struggling UK companies to react and adapt to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and the economy. This article considers how the changes proposed in the Bill will affect termination clauses in contracts for the supply of goods and services. Read more >

30 June 2020: Crisis Response Service and COVID-19

Now more than ever we are here to support you in the event of a crisis: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Read more >

24 June 2020: Operational Resilience – Are you learning the lessons from COVID-19?

As highlighted through the FCA Business Plan and recent consultations, operational resilience is a high priority on the FCA's agenda and has been given even greater significance in light of Covid-19. The FCA will be expecting firms to reflect and learn lessons about their operational resilience during Covid-19. So what lessons might firms have learnt about operating during a crisis and how can these be leveraged going forwards? Read more >

4 June 2020: Remote sentencing hearings – the future?

Read our latest update on the future of remote sentencing. Read more > 

3 June 2020: Defamation during present difficulties: is it 'right-thinking' to raise a claim?

We take a look at importance of protecting a brand and its reputation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more >

3 June 2020: Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill: The impact on contracts

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill aims to help struggling UK companies to react and adapt to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and the economy. This article considers how the changes proposed in the Bill will affect termination clauses in contracts for the supply of goods and services. Read more >

1 June 2020: COVID-19 and PLC Remuneration

As the market's response to COVID-19 is starting to take shape, we review some of the potential issues that PLC's may encounter when using share schemes to save of remuneration costs. Read more >

27 May 2020: UK Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

On 20 May 2020, the UK government published its draft Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the "Bill") which aims to help companies maximise their chances of survival during the pandemic. Read more >

26 May 2020: COVID-19 - the impact on corporate governance, administration and reporting - an update

The latest update on corporate governance, administration and reporting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more >

12 May 2020: Government issues guidance urging parties to contracts impacted by COVID-19 to act responsibly and fairly in order to protect the UK economy

The UK Government has released guidance setting out recommendations for parties to contracts materially affected by COVID-19 to act responsibly and fairly to protect jobs and the economy. Read more > 

12 May 2020: The role of "Spot Checks" in ensuring workplace safety

A key part of the Government's plan to get the UK's workforce safely back to work is the newly published COVID-19 Secure guidance. Following comments that the safety of the nation's workforce will be enforced through "spot checks" of workplaces we look at what this might entail and how businesses can prepare for them. Read more > 

7 May 2020: Governments across the globe announce COVID-19 financial support packages for businesses

In light of the global pandemic COVID-19, governments around the world are offering financial measures to support businesses. This is intended to ease the impact economically on these countries. Our report covers multiple jurisdictions and the measures introduced in their respective countries. Read more > 

7 May 2020: COVID-19: FCA guidance for consumers and firms regarding complaints handling

The FCA has published guidance on their website for consumers and firms regarding complaints handling during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more >

7 May 2020: COVID-19 Advice to businesses: Lock up in lockdown

We take a look at the measures businesses can put in place to protect themselves against the risk of criminal or civil proceedings being brought against them by trespassers entering vacant sites during lockdown. Read more > 

16 April 2020: In the land of coronavirus cash is still king

The role of the Credit Department in managing credit risk and maximising cash collection for businesses has never been more critical to a business's survival than in the face of coronavirus. Read more >

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