News & Events


Frustration of Leases as a Result of COVID-19

Does a Pandemic in the form of COVID-19 give rise to a frustrating event? Andrew Maguire explains where commercial leaseholders stand now the country is in ‘lockdown’ What is frustration of a lease? What constitutes the frustration of a lease? Lord Simon of Glaisdale, in the case of National Carriers v Panalpina (Northern) [1981] AC 675, famously declared that: “Frustration of a contract takes place where there supervenes an event (without default of either party and for which the contract makes no sufficient provision) which so significantly changes the nature (not merely the expense or onerousness) of the outstanding contractual rights and/or obligations from what the parties could reasonably have contemplated at the time of its execution that it would…

Covid-19 10 Apr, 2020

The Virtual Conduct of Litigation During Covid-19

OTC members have compiled a comprehensive guidance note on conducting court business remotely in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including expected court etiquette and other practical tips. There has been a flurry of uncertainty since the shut-down of courts following government guidance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. OTC has received a number of queries about how disputes will be dealt with in the courts as well as how alternative dispute resolution can proceed. In fact, many members of chambers have already appeared in remote hearings during the pandemic or have provided advice. There is not a single ‘off-the-shelf’ approach being taken by courts. Each jurisdiction (and indeed each individual court) will have specific requirements and the particular guidance…

Covid-19 9 Apr, 2020

The problem with Death Benefits for NHS Locum Practitioners

Despite working tirelessly in the current crisis, families of locum doctors could miss out on death benefits if they die on a much needed day off. A quirk in the rules of the NHS Pension Scheme 1995, as interpreted by the High Court in Sanderson v NHSBA [2019] EWHC 2900 (Ch), means that the relatives of locum doctors may suffer from significantly reduced death benefits if they die on a day they are not in fact working. Given the enormous contribution NHS staff are making in the current crisis, Keith Bryant QC and Saaman Pourghadiri summarise the Sanderson decision and explores the extent to which the same conclusion would apply to the 2008/2015 NHS Pension Schemes. The Problem – The…

Covid-19 7 Apr, 2020

Furlough and Annual Leave – Are We Clear?

With many businesses struggling during the ‘lockdown’, furlough is now a common term in employment law. Daniel Barnett looks at how this works alongside other forms of leave. The Government’s guidance on whether employees can take annual leave while on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’) is incomplete.  Employment Barrister Daniel Barnett gives his interpretation of the current situation while we await clarification. The following article deals with a wholly unclear area of law.  Daniel answers some frequently asked questions with his views at the time of publication (3rd April 2020) and specific advice should be sought on this fast moving area of law. Can an employee be on furlough and annual leave at the same time? At…

Covid-19 4 Apr, 2020

Paul Rogers analyses Covid-19’s impact on employer’s duties under HSWA 1974

In response to the Governments measures currently in place to combat the threat that Covid-19 poses Paul Rogers has analysed what impact this might have on an employer’s duty to its employees under HSWA 1974. First published on LexisPSL on 1 April 2020, this piece looks at the risks for employers and the steps they might take along with the position of homeworkers and existing HSE guidance. What is the impact of Covid-19 on employer’s duties under the HSWA 1974? On current scientific information and based on the extraordinary measures undertaken by government, it would be reasonable to assess Covid-19 as presently posing a significant risk to the health and safety of all persons coming into close (under 2m) contact…

Covid-19 3 Apr, 2020

Corporate Fraud in the Covid-19 Crisis – Guidance Note

Nick Johnson QC and Sophie O’Sullivan look at corporate fraud in the Covid-19 crisis, the changing risks and how to protect your business. The UK Government’s coronavirus (Covid-19) response has had profound effects on every business sector. The UK is on “lockdown”. Corporations and businesses, whose activities are underpinned by technologies such as verified transactions, encrypted communications and secure server networks, are having to find ways to conduct their core functions remotely, separated from colleagues and support departments, in circumstances where each person is, generally, unmonitored. There are very few – if any – corporate entities that had the practical and technological infrastructures in place prior to this crisis taking hold, which would have enabled them to adapt seamlessly to…

Covid-19 2 Apr, 2020

Frustration, Force Majeure, Material Adverse Change and COVID-19 in England, the DIFC and ADGM

Andrew Spink QC and Saaman Pourghadiri summarise how contractual obligations may be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and measures taken to quell it. Governments across the world have taken unprecedented steps to restrict ordinary daily life in an effort to mitigate the severe impact of Covid-19. The human impact is enormous but the pandemic will also have profound short and long-term economic effects. Andrew and Saaman of summarise how contractual obligations may be affected by the pandemic and the measures taken to quell it. This note will look at some key elements in construing Force Majeure (“FM”) clauses, Article 82 of the DIFC Contract Law 2004 (“Article 82”), and common law frustration before considering MAC clauses Read the full guidance…

Covid-19 1 Apr, 2020

Frustration, Force Majeure and Material Adverse Change

Andrew Spink QC and Saaman Pourghadiri summarise how contractual obligations may be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and measures taken to quell it. Governments across the world have taken unprecedented steps to restrict ordinary daily life in an effort to mitigate the severe impact of Covid-19. The human impact of Covid-19 is enormous but the pandemic will also have profound short and long-term economic effects. In response to various enquiries over the last few days, Andrew and Saaman have constructed a guidance note looking at some key elements in construing Force Majeure (FM) clauses and the common law doctrine of frustration before considering Material Adverse Change (MAC) clauses. Whether Covid-19 and the global response to it fall within FM or MAC…

Covid-19 30 Mar, 2020

John McKendrick QC represents GP in Skype-only trial

John McKendrick QC is representing a GP in a trial conducted solely over Skype in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Law Gazette stated that this is a legal first… Lawyers have stated this could be a model way to ensure court business continues during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Justice Mostlyn decided that the hearing should be conducted over Skype to enable it to proceed without risking the health of any of the participants, some of who are in vulnerable groups or live with people who are. John represented the GP of a man in his 70s who suffered a major stroke in 2016 in the Court of Protection case. The trial will decide whether it is in his best…

Covid-19 19 Mar, 2020

Employment Law and Coronavirus – Daniel Barnett speaks on LBC Radio

In response to the continued public concern over CoVid-19, Daniel Barnett, a leading employment barrister at Outer Temple Chambers co-presented a Q&A on the implications of coronavirus on employment law on LBC Radio. The Virus Coronavirus has put Italy in lockdown and dominated the UK Government agenda in recent days. Those infected may only display flu like symptoms. However, it is potentially lethal for those with weaker immune systems and is highly contagious. The ease at which it is spreading across the world has caused panic and many businesses have been severely affected by the number of people being advised to self isolate. Employment Law Q&A Daniel is a leading authority on employment law and was invited to answer a number…

Covid-19 10 Mar, 2020

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