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Overseas Investment: Covid-19 - What Kind of State Are You In?
Shoosmiths LLP, May 2020

States’ responses to the global pandemic may, however well-intended, harm the interests of inward investors. Under international public law, those investors have rights and so a spate of investor-State arbitral claims may well be a legacy of the pandemic. Across the world, governments have responded to Covid-19 by introducing emergency measures, which have inhibited social interaction and hampered economic activity...

COVID-19: Privacy Considerations of Contact Tracing Apps
Shoosmiths LLP, May 2020

Governments are turning toward the use of data driven solutions as part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which raises numerous privacy concerns. Contact tracing technology seeks to inform and notify individuals that have been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19, enabling such individuals to self-quarantine, receive testing and, if required, obtain follow-up treatment...

UK Government “Future Fund” – Welcome Financial Assistance for the Start-Up Sector
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, April 2020

By way of extension to the existing array of financial support for business, the UK government has announced that a new fund will be launched in May aimed specifically at benefiting high-growth companies. This will be by way of convertible loans to unlisted UK companies which have a “substantive economic presence” in the UK, provided they have raised at least £250,000 from investors over the past five years...

UK ICO Releases Its Opinion on Apple and Google Partnership to Build COVID-19 Contact Tracing Technology
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, April 2020

Elizabeth Denham, the UK Information Commissioner, has released an opinion in response to the joint effort announced by Apple Inc. (“Apple”) and Google LLC (“Google”) to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of COVID-19 by building contact-tracing technology into iOS and Android smartphones...

English Law COVID-19 Q&A Series - Ship Refit and Repair Contracts
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Does the Covid-19 pandemic (or actions taken to counter the spread of Covid-19) constitute a Force Majeure in a refit/ repair contract? Is there any implied right of relief for the contractor or the owner? Under English law, unlike civil law systems, a force majeure is neither defined nor automatically applicable to commercial contracts...

English Law COVID-19 Q&A Series- Drilling Contracts
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Does the COVID-19 pandemic (or actions taken to counter the spread of COVID-19) constitute Force Majeure and is there any implied remedy (e.g. implied force majeure relief) arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Under English law, unlike civil law systems, force majeure is neither defined nor automatically applicable to commercial contracts...

COVID-19 or Oil Price Crash? Competing Causes for Termination for Force Majeure
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On 8 March 2020, Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russia which has caused a major fall in the price of oil. This is disastrous for an industry that had only just recently recovered from the 2014 crash and companies are now looking at how to best get through another difficult downturn...

Latest Guidance on Quarantine and Self-isolation Procedures for the UK Oil and Gas Industry
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Companies operating in the oil & gas industry in the UK can find the most up-to-date information and guidance relating to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic on the websites of Oil & Gas UK (“OGUK”), Step Change in Safety and the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”), amongst others. OGUK & Step Change in Safety OGUK is continuing to publish the latest information and guidelines relating to COVID-19 on its website...

English Law COVID-19 Q&A Series: Shipbuilding Contracts
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Under English law, unlike civil law systems, a force majeure is neither defined nor automatically applicable to commercial contracts...

Offshore Contractor’s Guide through the English Law Issues Arising from the Latest Oil Price Collapse and COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Introduction: The new reality As a result of the sudden and dramatic fall in the oil price that had occurred between June 2014, when oil had been trading at prices of around US$115 per barrel of Brent crude, to January 2015 by which time it had fallen to around US$35 per barrel, I was prompted to prepare a “Guide for Contractors”. Parties in the offshore oil and gas sector, and in particular contractors in the industry, were facing turbulent and unpredictable times...

Oil & Gas Workers Given “Key Worker” Status by the British Government
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The British government has adopted stringent measures to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus effective from 23 March 2020[1], including a nationwide lockdown, closure of non-essential shops and public venues and mandatory social distancing. The general rule is that people should stay at home, but workers can travel to and from work if they cannot perform their work from home[2]...

Shoosmiths Launches Coronavirus Client Support Measures
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

UK law firm Shoosmiths has been mobilising its legal advisors and support staff to keep its clients up-to-date on the many potential impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. Its free, online COVID-19 hub is already packed with a wealth of information on topics that might have both short and long-term effects on business...

How will the COVID-19 Outbreak Affect my Ongoing Arbitration
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Thousands of disputes are dealt with by way of international arbitration every year and it is inevitable that when most countries started introducing social distancing measures, a number of arbitrations were either part heard or just about to start and will have been derailed, at least to some extent...

COVID-19: Impact on Your M&A Deals Under English Law
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Having begun as a fairly localized issue in the centre of China, the COVID-19 outbreak has spread rapidly across borders, significantly impacting the global economy and causing havoc in financial markets. The impact has been across all sectors, from transport and tourism to manufacturing, technology, energy, retail and beyond...

Coronavirus and Company General Meetings
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

  The Coronavirus pandemic is presenting companies and their directors with many challenges. Simply planning for “business as usual” requires change to usual practices, involving a balance between compliance obligations and official public health advice. Holding general meetings, particularly as we enter AGM season for listed companies with a 31 December year-end, is one such challenge...

Has Coronavirus Caused Distress to your Business?
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

  It seems that business disruption due to coronavirus is pretty inevitable. What should you as a company director be doing if the disruption means your business starts to suffer? What changes for me as a director? As a director, you know that you owe duties to the company...

Coronavirus and the GDPR – Keep Calm and Carry On?
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

  How do you protect the privacy of people who have been infected by Covid-19, while still usefully informing those who have been put at risk? At a time of public health emergency, shouldn't GDPR take a back seat? As companies struggle to get new processes in place to cope with the potential ramifications of Covid-19, the aim of this note is to highlight how EU data protection law applies to this unusual set of circumstances...

Coronavirus: Applying Force Majeure
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

  Force majeure clauses in business-critical contracts are coming into sharp focus at the moment as coronavirus continues to sweep the globe and the extent of the impact on global supply chains is becoming increasingly apparent. Many businesses concerned about potential disruption as a result of the coronavirus outbreak are reviewing their key contractual arrangements to understand potential contractual implications...

The Impact of the Coronavirus on Leases
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

  The impact of the coronavirus raises a number of questions for landlords and tenants of commercial property. This article considers the most frequent questions we are asked. Can I claim a reduction in rent if I am unable to use my premises? In most cases you will not be able to claim a reduction in rent...

What Happens Next if Shopping Centre Landlord Goes Under?
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

  On top of the multiple challenges hitting retail and leisure landlords and occupiers arising from COVID-19, the news that Intu has had to write down the value of its shopping centre portfolio by nearly £2 billion came as further bad news. Intu owns multiple high-profile retail and leisure locations across the UK (including The Trafford Centre in Manchester and the Lakeside complex in Essex) and on 12 March was widely reported as being at risk of insolvency...

Implementing Forbearance Measures for Those Impacted by the Coronavirus
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

  The Financial Services industry has been quick to respond to the struggles facing individuals and businesses during the current coronavirus pandemic, but there are issues they need to consider when implementing their forbearance measures...

Coronavirus: Five Key Workplace Issues
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

  The spread of coronavirus is continuing to dominate the news with a fifth of the UK workforce expected to be off sick during the peak of the epidemic. As the number of confirmed cases in the UK increases daily, we look at five key issues for employers...

Coronavirus: Responsible Advertising and Fair Pricing Practices
Shoosmiths LLP, March 2020

There has been an increase in the number of businesses seeking to exploit coronavirus for commercial gain, often in breach of relevant advertising and consumer regulations. What can you do to make sure your advertising practices are above board? Background A surge in the demand for products related to coronavirus, such as facemasks and hand sanitiser gel, has led to a range of issues, particularly in relation to responsible advertising and fair pricing practices...



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