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The UK Government introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill on 20 May 2020 with the reading of the Bill taking place in the House of Commons this Wednesday 3 June 2020. Some of the measures being introduced are temporary and designed to help companies in the short term which are facing ongoing financial pressures as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however many of the other changes represent a more permanent and fundamental change to insolvency law in the UK.

The news that we are now entering Phase 1 of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown is most welcome indeed, providing reassurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

However, it should be noted that no restrictions have as yet been lifted in relation to the property market. In particular, we will all need to wait at least until Phase 2, for face to face valuations, viewings and property inspections to resume. 

Directors during Covid-19 : Risk? Yes ... but how much risk?

Dispute Resolution partner, Robert McDiarmid, is featured in the May/June 2020 edition of the Business Bulletin - published by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.  

Our Residential Property Team has been working remotely throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, but with some restrictions starting to be eased in England and the Scottish Government setting out its plans to do likewise when the time is deemed to be right, we are looking to the future.

With stringent social distancing measures still in place, many professionals working in the real estate industry are considering electronic signatures as an alternative method of concluding contracts and securing the execution of formal deeds.   Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, the use of electronic signatures was rare but with signatories confined to home, reliance on the traditional ‘’wet ink’’ signature approach can be a challenge.        

Updated 4 May 2020

From 1 May 2020, new SCTS guidance relating to civil business in the Sheriff Courts indicates that it will be possible for certain ‘non-urgent’ cases to resume but only where the specific court in question is satisfied that there is good reason why the action should be restarted and that the action can be progressed remotely without the need for a hearing on evidence.

Being placed on furlough leave or sadly losing employment as a result of Covid-19 could well have an impact upon separated parties who have a written agreement or court ordered arrangement in respect of alimentary obligations, whether that be child aliment or aliment for a spouse or civil partner.

CGT - 30 Day Payment Deadline now in effect for some residential property transactions

On 6 April 2020, new rules concerning the payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on some residential property transactions came into effect.  While HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has offered some flexibility in light of the Covid- 19 outbreak, property owners should not overlook their obligations.

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