Stronachs Logo

News

The UK and Scottish Governments have taken a number of measures to help companies weather the Coronavirus crisis. These include the Business Interruption Loan Scheme (Scheme) which has been introduced by the UK Government to provide SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million.  This support has been welcomed by businesses coming to terms with the economic consequences of the current crisis but taking advantage of these sources of funding is not always straightforward; borrowing needs to be repaid and directors are subject to director duties and rules on wrongful trading which can result in directors incurring personal liability.

Those in the process of moving home or who are planning to do so in the near future, will doubtless already be aware that sales and purchases of residential property have been severely disrupted as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

What are the main problems?

  • Registers of Scotland is closed to new applications

The Law Society of Scotland has issued guidance on the correct procedures for Solicitors taking Will instructions from new and existing clients during this period when face to face meetings with clients are not possible.

Witnessing

Particularly welcome is the guidance on the situation where it is not possible for a witness to be present in person during the signing process.

Commercial property has not been left unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of all non-essential businesses has caused disruption and uncertainty for both landlords and tenants. One particular concern for tenants is the prospect of their lease being terminated early due to an inability to continue to pay rent.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - 'Furlough leave'

On Friday 20th March, the Chancellor set out a package of temporary measures to support people and businesses through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

 

These measures include a new 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'.  Under the scheme all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been 'laid off' during this crisis.

On Wednesday 25th March 2020, the Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent. This comes amongst emergency legislation the Government has introduced to help combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Act introduces ‘emergency volunteering leave’ which gives workers the opportunity to leave their main job to volunteer temporarily in the NHS or social care sector. Employees will be permitted to apply to an appropriate authority for a certificate which will allow them to act as an emergency volunteer in health or social care.

Many companies in the energy industry will be very concerned about whether, given the disruption arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, they will be able to perform their contractual obligations. 

Under English law and Scots law with limited exceptions unless the contract provides otherwise or unless the contracting parties come to an agreement to the contrary, parties must perform their obligations regardless of any external circumstances with which they may be confronted.

We are living in extraordinary times. The Covid-19 crisis is a once in a century event and none of us have faced the likes of this before. We are only at the beginning of it but it looks as though the economy is heading for recession and the crisis is bringing many challenges to all of our businesses. It is a worrying time for all business owners and management teams.

While we will not have the answer to all of your problems, the team at Stronachs is nevertheless always available to provide you with support today and in what will undoubtedly be a challenging future for us all.

Chambers Leading Firm 2020 bw

Contact Info

ABERDEEN OFFICE
28 Albyn Place, Aberdeen AB10 1YL
Tel: +44 1224 845845

 

INVERNESS OFFICE
Camas House, Fairways Business Park,
Inverness IV2 6AA
Tel: + 44 1463 713225

The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms