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COVID-19

Keeping you up to date with the latest legal developments during the COVID-19 outbreak...

Update on Furlough Leave: key practical issues

Following the government’s recently announced Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, further (and much needed) guidance has been published. Whilst some issues still remain unclear, the guidance clarifies a number of important issues.

Read the full Q&A here.

6 April 2020

Making a Will during the COVID-19 pandemic

1 April 2020

Advances in IT are proving to be invaluable during the global lockdown brought about by coronavirus, but making a Will is one process that cannot be done electronically and lags behind the times. The strict signing formalities for a valid Will are causing practical difficulties while social distancing measures remain in place. 

Click here to read more about making a Will during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Act 2020 - Landlords and Tenants

31 March 2020

This note sets out how the Coronavirus Act 2020 ("the Act") affects both business and residential tenancies taking into account the Governmental advisory guidance to help understand the implications of the Act.

Read more here.

International Investors Buying UK Real Estate: Advice and UK Government guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic

31 March 2020

The UK Government has recently published official and detailed advice on selling, buying and moving home in the UK during the coronavirus (COVID-19). This has been published here. It should be noted that the current restrictions in practice predominately affect owners or occupiers currently resident in the UK who are physically moving home themselves.

Are you an international investor? Click here to read if the current UK guidelines affect you.

COVID-19: What are the legal implications for the UK arts market?

27 March 2020

As the outbreak of COVID-19 has intensified, the UK art market, an inherently international industry, which thrives on both its domestic and global events, has felt the unprecedented effects. With art fairs cancelled and galleries', museums' and auctioneers' doors forced to close, these are uncertain and exceptional times. In an industry which encompasses such a wide range of businesses, from the self-employed artist to the international auction house employing hundreds of staff worldwide, the challenges faced by those in the art market will be many and varied. Below we address some key legal implications for the market, and look at the ways Britain is supporting one of its most high profile and lucrative industries.

Click here to read about all the implications for the UK arts market.

Moving home: advice and guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic

27 March 2020

Official and detailed advice on selling, buying and moving home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been published.

Read a summary of what has been said here.

COVID-19 – Practical Commercial Steps for Businesses to Take During the Pandemic

27 March 2020

We have been working with a whole range of businesses to help them address the many commercial issues thrown up by coronavirus. As well as participating in the various government schemes which have been launched, there are other practical steps that business can be taking.

Read more about the practical steps here.

Conditional Exemption Relaxation

It has been confirmed that heritage properties usually open to the public in order to secure conditional exemption from inheritance tax should not view closure due to the coronavirus guidance as a breach of undertaking, even should this mean that a property has not been able to open in 2020. 

Click here to read more about the relaxation of the Conditional Exemption rule.

Coronavirus Act 2020 - What does it mean for commercial landlords?

26 March 2020

The Coronavirus Act 2020 ("the Act") was enacted yesterday (25 March 2020) and as previously announced by the Government includes a provision protecting tenants of business tenancies from eviction for non-payment of rent.

Click here to read more about the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: the Statutory Residence Test

25 March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting everyone's ability to move freely around the globe including to and from the UK, and in these unprecedented times tax is not anyone's top priority. Nevertheless, some international individuals carefully plan the number of days they spend in the UK each tax year so as to ensure they do not become UK tax resident and, particularly as we approach the end of the tax year, they will be concerned as to what impact an enforced extended stay in the UK will have on their residence status. In light of this, HMRC have specified four situations which will be considered to constitute exceptional circumstances for the purposes of the Statutory Residence Test.

Click here to read more about the Statutory Residence Test and the situations which constitute exceptional circumstances. 

Suspending commercial property evictions welcomed – but agreement needed on interest rate levied on late rent payments

24 March 2020

The temporary ban on commercial property evictions is generally being seen as a sensible and pragmatic move, according to Simon Williams, Head of Real Estate.

Read more about the temporary ban here.

COVID-19: Force Majeure under the JCT Design & Build 2016

 24 March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has accelerated over the last few days and the course it will take continues to remains uncertain. 

At the time of writing, the UK Government has not followed in the footsteps of other European countries and enforced "lockdown", although this is likely to be on the cards imminently.  There are already significant ramifications on construction companies who are continuing to deliver on contractually-agreed commitments and it begs the question what will happen if there is a "lockdown"?

Click here to read about the effect of delays to construction projects under an un-amended JCT Design and Build contract (2016) ("JCT"in the context of force majeure.

Is COVID-19 forcing the courts to catch up? 

23 March 2020

As governments around the world put in place measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable from infection, individuals are adapting to a new way of life. Normal working practices have quickly shifted to enable people to work remotely and comply with requests to self-isolate and distance themselves from others. It seems inevitable that this will be obligatory for the foreseeable future and one wonders whether the changes could become the "new normal".

Read more here about how the courts are adapting.

COVID-19 – Boodle Hatfield Approach

During the current global COVID-19 pandemic, Boodle Hatfield, is focused on protecting all of our staff and to continue to service the needs of our clients.

Here we set out Boodle Hatfield's approach to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as well as relevant details of our pandemic and business continuity planning. We hope it gives some reassurance that you will be able to continue working with us without interruption and that we are well prepared as a business to continue to support you.

Public Health England advice
Boodle Hatfield has a team monitoring the official advice issued by Public Health England and the government bodies on a daily basis. We are following all advice issued and ensuring all Partners and Staff understand the crucial role everyone will play in protecting against the spread of the virus, both inside and outside the office.

Business continuity
Boodle Hatfield is committed to ensuring continuity of service for Clients in the event of any disaster or business continuity event. Our Business Continuity Team meets regularly and we plan for a variety of scenarios, including a pandemic threat. We recently tested and revised our plans with an external consultant using potential risks and threats as a guide. This is helping us with our business planning at this time. Our Business Continuity plan ensures that we are able to operate effectively and provide our clients with the service they require even if the teams are required to work from home.

Working Remotely
All our lawyers and staff are currently working at home in order to keep them healthy for as long as we can and to ensure that our clients continue to receive the best service possible. We have robust and fully tested systems in place to enable people to work at home and everyone is fully contactable in the usual way by phone or by email. Please feel free to contact them at any time if you have any queries, particularly if you have any immediate business, property or personal concerns.

Post
As all our staff are working at home please only send correspondence by email with pdf attachments. This includes all service of claim forms, application notices and any other court documents and contractual notices which should be emailed to the individual(s) you usually deal with and to bh@boodlehatfield.com. If service of documents or contractual notices are only sent by post, courier, DX, or fax, we cannot, in the current circumstances, give you assurance that they will be received or dealt with. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We will let you know when the situation has changed.

We believe that by following the Government guidance with these measures we will be able to offer all of our clients the service they need when they themselves are facing very challenging times.

Next steps
Boodle Hatfield is continuing to monitor the Coronavirus situation on an ongoing basis and we will provide updates and useful guides on our website

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any specific questions regarding the above.

24 March 2020

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London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

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Mayfair Office

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London
W1K 4PZ

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

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Oxford Office

6 Worcester Street
Oxford
OX1 2BX

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

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