News & Events


The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill – What it means for Directors and Creditors

The Government has published the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill setting out the measures it intends to bring in to help businesses survive the economic shock caused by Covid-19, together with important reforms to insolvency. In this article Saaman Pourghadiri of Outer Temple Chambers and Meriel Hodgson-Teall and Daniel Mills of Enyo Law consider what those measures mean for directors and suppliers to companies. This article updates a note Saaman, Meriel and Daniel wrote when measures to assist businesses were first announced. That note can be found here. Overview of the Bill The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the “Bill”) introduces temporary measures to respond to the Covid-19 crisis and permanent additions to the UK insolvency regime. As at the…

Covid-19 3 Jun, 2020

Paul Rogers on what PPE should be worn when resuscitating a person using CPR

Paul Rogers answers the vexing question of what PPE should be worn when resuscitating a person using CPR during Covid-19, given the conflict between PHE and the UK Resuscitation Council on whether chest compressions are aerosol generating procedures. Paul Rogers of our Health & Safety Team has recently had an article published in LexisPSL exploring what PPE should be worn when resuscitating a person. The Guidance PHE publication ‘COVID-19, infection prevention and control guidance’ explains that the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets generated by coughing and sneezing and by contact with contaminated surfaces. During AGPs however, it recognises that there is an increased risk or aerosol spread of infectious agents and advises airborne…

Covid-19 11 May, 2020

COVID-19 and Freezing/Proprietary Injunctions

Andrew Maguire explores whether it is possible, during Covid-19, for an applicant to apply for Freezing and Proprietary Injunctions remotely in the High Court. Can an applicant still apply for Freezing and Proprietary Injunctions remotely? During these uncertain times during the lockdown, the question arises as to whether an applicant may still apply for an urgent interim without notice freezing or proprietary injunction as well as ancillary orders, such as a search order or a Norwich Pharmacal/Banker’s Trust order, (which will be collectively referred to as an “injunction” or “injunctive relief”) at the High Court? The simple answer is yes. An applicant can still obtain an urgent injunction and the courts are still open for business; remotely or by telephone.…

Covid-19 6 May, 2020

Coroners and COVID-19 – the guidance and the process

The Chief Coroner has recently published a series of guidance notes to advise coroners on dealing with COVID-19 related deaths. Carin Hunt summarises the advice and the process to be followed by medical practitioners where a death has been caused by this coronavirus. On 26 March 2020, the Chief Coroner published guidance (no 34) for all coroners in England and Wales on the approach to be taken to COVID-19. This was followed on 27 March 2020 by guidance (no 35) which deals specifically with hearings during COVID-19. In guidance (no 36), published on 30 March 2020, the Chief Coroner summarised the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 which are relevant to coroners, including those which modify statutory provisions relating to…

Covid-19 29 Apr, 2020

Suspension of wrongful trading provisions to ease COVID-19 fallout – not a panacea for directors

In more Covid-19 related business news, the Government will amend the UK Insolvency Act 1986 to temporarily suspend provisions relating to wrongful trading by UK directors to help them to tackle these extreme trading conditions without the threat of personal liability. Saaman Pourghadiri has collaborated with Meriel Hodgson-Teall and Daniel Mills of Enyo Law to analyse the proposed suspension of wrongful trading provisions & Directors continuing liabilities and duties. Amongst a set of far-reaching new measures designed to ease the pressures and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK businesses, the UK Government recently announced its intention to temporarily suspend provisions relating to wrongful trading by directors of UK companies. The measures, implemented by way of amendment to the UK…

Covid-19 28 Apr, 2020

How can corporates manage bribery risk as they fight to survive COVID-19

As the lockdown persists and businesses become more desperate, Fiona Horlick QC and Jeremy Scott-Joynt look at why this could mean more corporate bribery and corruption. With spare bedrooms or kitchen table corners continuing to do double duty as office space, many businesses – particularly those whose trade has shrunk – will be aching for a return to normality. However, normal may not return for a long time. Supply chains may shorten. Working practices may change. Long-settled business relationships may be sundered as partners may have ceased to trade. Battered businesses will be desperate for new deals as they seek to keep their staff working. In other words, it’s a perfect time to bribe someone – and the ultimate test…

Covid-19 24 Apr, 2020

HMRC responds to Daniel Barnett’s questions on CJRS loophole

Further to Daniel Barnett’s recent article highlighting a potential problem with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, HMRC has responded directly with some answers. Daniel Barnett recently wrote an article highlighting a problem with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (see here). He also highlighted this directly to HMRC. HMRC has written to Daniel, providing clarity for employers and employees on one of the seemingly inconsistent aspects of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Paragraph 6.7 of The Treasury’s Direction to HMRC, which is the legislative source of HMRC’s power to make payments under the CJRS, states that an employer can only reclaim the employee’s salary, amongst other things, “…if the employer and employee have agreed in writing (which may be in an electronic form such…

Covid-19 23 Apr, 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on Lasting Powers of Attorneys

Private Client barristers Claire van Overdijk and Alex Cisneros consider the benefits and challenges of creating a Lasting Power of Attorney during the current COVID-19 pandemic. So much has changed in the last few weeks and the legal industry is no exception. Claire and Alex provide guidance on what can be done during COVID-19, taking examples from other jurisdictions where witnessing LPAs by video link has been permitted through emergency laws. They explore where LPAs developed from and how the legal conceptualisation of substituted decision has been codified in various statutory materials. They also look at two requirements for making an LPA where mistakes are often made; providing a certificate and witnessing signatures. Finally, the article considers business LPAs as…

Covid-19 22 Apr, 2020

A problem with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

There is a problem with the numerous iterations of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. You now need to get the employee to agree in writing that they will not work. Daniel Barnett looks at the implications for employers who have already started the scheme. On 20 March 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP announced as part of “an unprecedented package of measures” that businesses and their employees would be assisted by the Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme), thus bringing the word “furlough” into common usage. The Scheme allows for a grant covering 80% of an employee’s usual monthly wage up to £2,500 per month plus Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment…

Covid-19 17 Apr, 2020

Coronavirus and Health & Safety Dismissals: The Emploment Rights Act

Gus Baker looks at Sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act in relation to coronavirus and health and safety dismissals. Gus Baker has produced a guide concerning health and safety dismissals and detriments under sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 in the time of Coronavirus. The guide provides a detailed look at how and when employees will accrue protection under the Act for taking unilateral action to protect their safety including: When can employees who consider themselves at risk of infection refuse to attend work? Can staff insist on wearing face masks? Can employers make employees redundant if they refuse to take part in activities they consider would be risky? Read the full guide…

Covid-19 16 Apr, 2020

Will-Making in Difficult Circumstances: How to Comply With Formal Validity Requirements

David E Grant and Gabor Bognar consider the challenges of making a formally valid will in difficult circumstances, such as those which may arise from the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. When one perceives a greater-than-usual risk of their near-term demise, the mind turns more readily to will-making. So it appears in the present pandemic, during which UK will-writers have reportedly experienced a substantial increase in client enquiries. David E Grant and Gabor Bognar have written an article considering the challenges of making a formally valid will in difficult circumstances, such as those which may arise from the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Legislative requirements and the burden of proof Their article explains the rigorous formality requirements of English law for the…

Covid-19 16 Apr, 2020

High Court provides guidance on furlough and insolvency

A High Court judgment has provided important guidance on the provisions for furloughing employees where a company has gone into administration due to COVID-19. Peter Linstead explains how it is no less relevant despite the new Treasury Direction on furlough leave. On Easter Monday 13th April, a High Court judgment gave declaratory guidance on how the provisions for furloughing employees should be applied by administrators where a company had gone into administration as a result of the effects of coronavirus.  The judgment succeeds in providing essential clarity on the status of employees’ claims in an insolvency situation and has wider application to contractual variations in the context of furlough. It remains relevant in both these areas despite the publication on 15 April of…

Covid-19 15 Apr, 2020

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