“COVID-19 – Is Your Business Immune?”

“COVID-19 – Is Your Business Immune?”

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused both global and individual disruption creating numerous (and unique) operational issues and challenges that businesses need to address. Quastels is continuing to advise not only on the emergency Government legislation but the legal and business issues caused during this changing and uncertain period. Examples of the issues we can address include:

Dispute Resolution –  the disruption may cause businesses or individuals to breach their obligations under a contract, such as delaying performance or suffering loss because of shortages or supply chain disruption. The Dispute Resolution team is able to advise on various issues from debt recovery to whether a contract has provisions that might successfully be invoked (or avoided) as a result of the outbreak.

Employment / HR – the Employment team is able to advise on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (commonly referred to as ‘furloughing’), including advising on the furloughing process and providing you with all written documentation that is required to be in place.  Additionally our employment team can advise on other matters arising from COVID-19 including unauthorised absences, working from home and redundancy situations.

Commercial Leases – the Commercial Property team is able to advise parties to a lease on their rights and obligations, including if a landlord is forced to quarantine or close a building on directions from the government, or whether rent can be withheld if the landlord is not providing the required services, or the tenant cannot access its premises.

Residential lettings – can your tenant legitimately refuse to pay rent? Can they be evicted, whether the lease has come to an end or they have failed to comply with the lease’s terms? What actions can you take to protect your property and your rights? Are you obliged to grant a new tenancy if it expires in the next 3 months?  Get in touch with our Residential Property team if you would like to discuss any of these issues.

Business as usual – while we are advising on the above areas of concern specific to COVID -19, many of our clients continue to trade, make deals, enter into and perform under purchase and sale contracts, supply agreements and service agreements; in short, they continue to function during these trying times.  Some clients are using quieter periods to review and tidy-up existing or proposed shareholder and partnership agreements that have been on the back burner for some time. Whatever your legal needs, our legal advisers on commercial and corporate transactions, all aspects of residential and commercial real estate, immigration and general dispute resolution remain available to work on your regular business and personal requirements.

Despite the disruption, uncertainty and risk – both short and long-term – caused by the coronavirus and its consequences, one aspect is certain: we at Quastels are able to advise and guide you on the legal environment and will seek, wherever possible, to support you and limit its adverse effects and ramifications.

Quastels is continuing to operate, ‘business as usual’ in very unusual circumstances.

Should you face uncertainty or require guidance on any legal issues then please get in touch with your usual contact at Quastels or send an email to enquiries@quastels.com.

Please note – this article does not constitute legal advice.