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The latest articles and events from Mills & Reeve LLP.

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Operating a company in the new business unusual

The coronavirus pandemic and the daily changes in guidance are presenting companies and their directors with many challenges. Just planning for “business as usual” requires changes to one’s usual practices, involving a balance between compliance obligations, coping with financial stresses and following official public health advice to protect employees and yet maintain a sense of order – a new business unusual.

Peter McLintock

Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:46:46 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: Guidance to all food businesses

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published guidance to assist food businesses in responding to the coronavirus outbreak. It is vitally important that all food businesses prioritise the health and safety of their employees, agents and customers.

Jessica Burt

Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:49:56 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus and English law contracts

The outbreak and spread of coronavirus is causing many problems for many businesses. You will need to review your contractual, legal and insurance position in order to consider what action may be appropriate.

Ruth Andrew

Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:49:42 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: frequently asked questions

We explain what we know so far about the scheme for saving jobs during the crisis, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 20 March.

Charles Pigott

Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:30:38 GMT+00:00

Landlords, tenants, landowners – check your key dates in your property contracts

Although some sectors have already been hit particularly hard, there are many property issues relating to Covid-19 that do not discriminate. No matter what interest you hold in a property or properties, if you have any important dates coming up within the next 6 months then you should be looking at these now.

Richard New

Thu, 26 Mar 2020 14:37:27 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus, property insurance and business interruption claims

Standard property business interruption insurance policies are very unlikely to be triggered by the coronavirus crisis. Andrew J Tobin explains why.

Andrew Tobin

Thu, 26 Mar 2020 12:20:07 GMT+00:00

Everything you need to know about construction contracts in light of the coronavirus outbreak

When work grinds to a halt on a construction site, the key question is who pays for the delay? We explore the differences between specific JCT and NEC contracts plus the real impact on businesses when their contractor stops working and makes a claim. Currently the government seems to be saying that construction sites should stay open although that may change in the weeks ahead.

Alison Garrett

Wed, 25 Mar 2020 11:51:39 GMT+00:00

Comprehensive review: new enforcement powers in Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Bill

Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Bill contains far-reaching new powers intended to help curb the spread of coronavirus through compulsory testing and restrictions on the movement of infected persons. It will replace the existing powers contained in regulation 4 of The Health Protection (coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (the 2020 Regulations).

Samuel Lindsay

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 16:33:13 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus and the impact for separated parents

The Government has announced strict measures for the UK to try and stop the spread of coronavirus. But what if you are co-parenting?

Amy Starnes

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 16:01:57 GMT+00:00

Government extends suspension on lease forfeiture to commercial premises

The March quarter day, which was on 25 March, traditionally sees hundreds of millions of pounds of rent passed from commercial tenants to their landlords.

Richard New

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 15:07:00 GMT+00:00

Responding to employment challenges posed by coronavirus

The escalating Government response to control the spread of coronavirus has left most businesses with enormous challenges. What legal tools are available to make the necessary adjustments to the way their workforce is deployed?

Andrew Secker

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 14:09:06 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus and employment: frequently asked questions

As the Government’s strategy to delay the spread of COVID-19 continues to unfold, we share our thoughts on some of the most common questions we are being asked by employers.

Jog Hundle

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 14:02:00 GMT+00:00

What to do if you are co-parenting

How does the Governments "stay at home" directive apply to children of separated parents?

Caitlin Jenkins

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 09:42:37 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: what you need to do personally

Coronavirus is impacting individuals, their families and their business interests in many ways. Our team of Private Wealth experts have put together a list of things you should be considering.

Andrew Playle

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 09:20:18 GMT+00:00

The tenant can’t pay the rent – landlords, what are your options?

The March quarter day is when most leases will require a tenant of business premises to pay the landlord the rent for the period from 25 March to 23 June 2020.

Richard New

Mon, 23 Mar 2020 14:21:27 GMT+00:00

All public bodies required to provide support to supply chains

The Cabinet Office has published a second note on procurement policy for all contracting authorities

Jenny Beresford-Jones

Mon, 23 Mar 2020 14:05:40 GMT+00:00

Government financial support for large and small businesses

The government has announced a number of measures to support business during the coronavirus crisis including loan support in the form of CBILS and CCFF. We draw together the current material on eligibility from the Bank of England and the British Business Bank

Neil Smyth

Mon, 23 Mar 2020 13:37:35 GMT+00:00

Off-payroll working (IR35) changes postponed

Organisations and individuals who have been preparing for changes to the off-payroll working rules will now have an additional year. The changes were due to take effect in April, but in the face of the uncertainty and business challenges presented by coronavirus, they have been deferred to 6 April 2021.

Robert Kent

Fri, 20 Mar 2020 10:02:43 GMT+00:00

Virtual family dispute resolution

Alternatives to the court process are more important than ever, offering you the opportunity to conduct negotiations remotely and by secure video call.

Suzanne Kingston

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 15:41:18 GMT+00:00

Corporate Governance in difficult times – Who can do what?

At this time, when gatherings are actively discouraged and people with authority may not be at work, we thought it might be helpful to remind our clients of the issues they are likely to encounter, but also to offer solutions.

Tim Winn

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 15:27:04 GMT+00:00

Information law compliance and coronavirus: some reassurance from the Information Commissioner’s Office

Organisations across the UK are managing a range of issues relating to the coronavirus outbreak.  One area of concern for those with responsibility for information governance matters will be compliance with data protection and/or freedom of information requirements, particularly given the statutory deadlines for dealing with individuals’ requests pursuant to their information law rights.

Robert Renfree

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 15:00:25 GMT+00:00

Office shutdowns - options for processing legal documents

In these extraordinary circumstances the traditional method of signing documents may be difficult or not viable. We give you some options on how you can process legal documents.

Richard Hanson

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 14:14:37 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus and charities: key issues, and sources of information

The Government has announced new measures to seek to slow the spread of coronavirus in the UK, and charities are seeing their impact on how they support their beneficiaries, fundraise and operate generally.

Neil Burton

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 09:42:02 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus and data protection FAQs

As the Government’s strategy to delay the spread of COVID-19 continues to unfurl, we share a few of the answers to the questions the ICO are being asked on data protection issues which will be of interest to healthcare data controllers.

Tania Richards

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 09:03:03 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus – how occupiers can reduce their business rates liability

Although it will not assist businesses with short-term pressures on wage bills, rent and utilities, the Chancellor announced on 17 March 2020 that all retail, hospitality and leisure firms will receive a 12 month exemption from business rates.

Richard New

Wed, 18 Mar 2020 16:52:29 GMT+00:00

Directors’ duties – what should I do if my company is in financial distress?

Hopefully those businesses in financial distress caused by coronavirus can take advantage of the Government’s financial support proposals, but what are the responsibilities for directors of a company in the meantime? Neil Smyth gives some practical guidance on those duties

Neil Smyth

Wed, 18 Mar 2020 10:00:05 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus and the employer’s duty of care

Colleagues come and go from the workplace; the day-to-day routine, the business trip, or taking a break on annual leave. In these unprecedented times just how deeply should the conscientious employer be delving into an employees private life?

Chris Gough

Tue, 17 Mar 2020 10:41:06 GMT+00:00

Protecting yourself if another a party is in financial distress

Coronavirus is having an impact on all our economic environments. It is inevitable that some of your contractual counterparties may be suffering financial distress. What steps should you take to protect yourself should they go into an insolvency process?

Neil Smyth

Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:40:00 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: crisis management and business continuity

The World Health Organisation (WHO) of COVID-19 has now categorised COVID-19 ‘pandemic’ status. This means that the virus is now occurring worldwide.

Jessica Burt

Fri, 13 Mar 2020 11:37:19 GMT+00:00

The Paterson Inquiry Report - a legal perspective

In the first of a series of three articles from LaingBuisson Jill Mason explores the implications of the Paterson Inquiry report, looking at the background to the case and subsequent investigation.

Jill Mason

Fri, 13 Mar 2020 10:28:31 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus and insurance arrangements

We discuss how insurers and insureds will be responding to losses caused by coronavirus disruption.

Stephen King

Fri, 13 Mar 2020 09:25:16 GMT+00:00

Tackling fraud in the UK: Freezing injunctions and similar orders

The UK rightly enjoys a reputation for being one of the most open economies to foreign investment, ranking second only to the US in terms of the number of inward investment projects. Unfortunately, as is the case anywhere in the world, there is always a risk an investor may become a victim to some form of fraud, potentially depriving the investor of the benefit of its investment.

Eric France

Thu, 12 Mar 2020 15:28:51 GMT+00:00

打击英国诈骗 - Tackling Fraud in the UK


Eric France

Thu, 12 Mar 2020 15:23:28 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: how can you escape liability?

The outbreak and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing a range of unexpected problems for businesses, manufacturing activity, supply chains, staff availability and transportation. As the picture unfolds, those businesses that are affected may need to review their contractual, legal and insurance position in order to consider what action may be appropriate.

Douglas McDonald

Wed, 11 Mar 2020 11:15:55 GMT+00:00

Recent litigation cases - March 2020 roundup

We've brought together a round-up of some recent litigation cases that may be of interest to you.

Miranda Whiteley

Wed, 11 Mar 2020 10:56:49 GMT+00:00

Privilege and the challenges of email

Email was born in the 1970s. It entered the workplace in the late 1990s when it became possible to attach another document to an email. This had the revolutionary effect of enabling anyone in an organisation to share documents as attachments with anyone, both inside and outside the organisation.

Miranda Whiteley

Wed, 11 Mar 2020 10:27:14 GMT+00:00

Procurement disputes - Life Jim but not as we know it

Any body which has had commercial contact with the public sector has probably heard the phrases “OJEU process”, “above threshold”, “Alcatel Period” or “framework agreements”. These phrases have become a shorthand for the need for public bodies to comply with the requirements of EU competition directives for awarding contracts over a certain value for goods and services.

Helen Prandy

Wed, 11 Mar 2020 09:56:18 GMT+00:00

Building a sustainable future

Many commentators say that this is the “decade for action” for the planet and that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 are our global “to do” list. Gary Attle looks at the impact for the education sector.

Gary Attle

Tue, 10 Mar 2020 08:59:55 GMT+00:00

Unsuccessful attempt to prove a beneficial interest in a property

The appellant’s wife was made bankrupt and the trustees in bankruptcy became the sole legal and beneficial owners of a property. The occupying appellant filed a witness statement in opposition to the proceedings for possession and sale of the property in which he, citing “the Matrimonial Act”, referred to himself as a joint owner with a 50% interest.

Jack Gale

Mon, 9 Mar 2020 16:44:23 GMT+00:00

Can a compromise (income payments) agreement be set aside due to a later change in the law?

Under an Income Payments Agreement (“IPA”) made in November 2014 the bankrupt paid contributions to his bankruptcy debts by agreeing to payments from his pension provider to his trustee in bankruptcy.

Jamie Wheatley

Mon, 9 Mar 2020 16:39:24 GMT+00:00

A creditor’s right to a bankruptcy order

In an appeal from the County Court at Medway, John Male QC (Deputy High Court Judge) found that the judge of first instance failed to take account of the creditor’s prima facie right to a bankruptcy order, and took no proper account of the limitation placed on a judge’s discretion to adjourn a petition.

Catherine Noble

Mon, 9 Mar 2020 16:32:41 GMT+00:00

Directors continue to owe fiduciary duties even after a company has entered administration or CVL

The company had entered administration and subsequently liquidation. The liquidator brought proceedings claiming that the director, Mr Michie had acted in breach of his duties to the company. The case was unusual in that the transactions complained of occurred after the company had entered a formal insolvency process.

Helen Fyles

Mon, 9 Mar 2020 16:19:58 GMT+00:00

Solicitor liens

Last year we reported on a first instance decision concerning a solicitor’s entitlement to a lien over settlement proceeds for their unpaid fees.

Lino Di Lorenzo

Mon, 9 Mar 2020 16:10:06 GMT+00:00

When might the court remove a trustee?

The claimant company (LCF), acting by its administrators, sought an order for the removal of the defendant company (GST) as a trustee and for the replacement of GST by LCF's joint administrators or by another trustee as the court might think fit.

Jacob Walker

Mon, 9 Mar 2020 16:06:03 GMT+00:00

When does motive matter in the appointment of administrators?

When it is improper.

Neil Smyth

Mon, 9 Mar 2020 16:00:57 GMT+00:00

Mexican court applies terrorism exclusion to petrol riot claims

In light of political unrest in Chile, Hong Kong and elsewhere, Andrew Tobin and Harriet Strevens discuss the judgment of a recent Mexican court judgment involving a property insurance claim where rioting and looting triggered the terrorism exclusion in a policy.

Andrew Tobin

Fri, 6 Mar 2020 13:52:00 GMT+00:00

Developing AI regulation – what to expect

Compared to other cutting edge technologies, AI triggers a different level of concern about safe and ethical use.

Mark Pearce

Fri, 6 Mar 2020 12:00:47 GMT+00:00

The new points-based immigration system

For anyone employing or planning to employ EU and non-EU nationals, the system is changing from 1 January 2021 when the government will be introducing a new points based system. Alex Russell gives an overview of what employers need to know about the new proposals.

Alex Russell

Wed, 4 Mar 2020 09:45:51 GMT+00:00