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Is there anything I can do to try and settle my claim?

There are several options that can be used at this time to try and settle disputes. If it is not possible to settle a dispute via direct discussions between the parties then some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) might be appropriate. Mediation is the most popular form of ADR. Most people’s perception of mediation is that it needs to be in person but that does not have to be the case.

Mediation can take place online or on the telephone. Most, if not all, ADR providers remain open for business and are quickly changing their business model to ensure that mediations can still take place. Mediation can be arranged at reasonably short notice and certainly so far as the online model is concerned, it mirrors the process that is adopted when parties appear in person. Online mediation allows for joint sessions with the mediator to take place and also for the parties to break out into their respective rooms for private discussions. If a dispute settles at mediation – and the vast majority do – then the agreement reached between the parties is binding and can be enforced.

A group of senior former judges and legal academics have now called for an acceleration in the use of ADR in light of the current circumstances. They have stated that courts should promote “and where appropriate require” the use of ADR. Mediation has particularly seen an increase in growth at this time.

ADR normally results in a quicker outcome than if the matter proceeds in the courts. Due to its conciliatory nature it is a very useful process where parties continue to be in a trading relationship. Contracting parties should also consider building ADR into dispute resolution clauses in their contracts so that in the event there is a dispute the focus is on resolving the dispute as soon as possible before it escalates into litigation.”

Related FAQs

Does this apply to bankruptcy petitions?

No. This bill relates to corporate insolvencies only. Should you require any advice as to personal insolvency situations, please contact our team.

Can directors, partners or those working under umbrella companies be furloughed?

Yes. The updated government guidance has confirmed that office holders (including company directors), salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) individuals working under umbrella companies (including agency workers) and individuals who are classified as ‘workers’ rather than employees can be furloughed but only to the extent that they are paid via PAYE. Therefore director’s fees can be claimed (subject to the cap) but dividends are excluded, as are bonuses and commission payments.

Those who are paid annual are now eligible to make a claim, subject to meeting the remaining requirements. This includes being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 which relates to a payment of earnings in the 19/20 tax year.

The decision to furlough a director or office holder should be adopted as a formal decision of the company or LLP which should be minuted and notified in writing.

Company directors can only undertake work to fulfil a duty or other obligation arising from an Act of Parliament relating to the filing of company accounts or provision of other information relating to the administration of the director’s company while furloughed and they cannot carry out work that would generate revenue or perform services to or on behalf of their company. This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).

My reserved matters application is due to be submitted, can I delay this?

The Business and Planning Act 2020 entered the statute books on 22 July 2020. Section 18 of the Act includes provisions for the extension of the date by which a reserved matters application must be submitted where the original date falls between 23 March 2020 and 31 December 2020. Where the original time limit for the submission of reserved matters is on or after 19 August 2020, the relevant conditions will be automatically read as requiring the reserved matters application to be submitted by 1 May 2021.

Where the original time limit for the submission of reserved matters is before 19 August 2020, an application will need to be made to the LPA for an Additional Environmental Approval (“AEA”), which the LPA must determine within 28 days otherwise the approval is deemed to be provided. The purpose of the AEA is to consider whether the environmental assessments carried out at the time of the original outline determination remain valid and up to date, and where that is not the case, the AEA will be refused. In such circumstances a new planning application will be required where an application is now out of time to comply with the original date for submission of reserved matters.

Which charities will benefit from this funding and when - local charities?

£370 million will be available to support small and medium-sized charities who are at the heart of local communities and which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice. These monies will  be distributed by organisations including the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England. It is understood these monies will need to be applied for. The application system for the National Lottery Community Fund grant pot is expected to be operational within a period of weeks.

ONLINE EVENT: How to avoid risks in customer agreements and supply chains during Covid-19

Hosted by Advanced Manufacturing Forum, Partner, Matt Cormack discussed in this webinar how to avoid risks associated with your customer and supply chain contracts during this challenging Covid-19 period.

The webinar covers common questions such as:

  • Can force majeure excuse me or my suppliers from paying on time?
  • What are the risks to my business if I can’t perform on time due to Covid-19?
  • What will happen to my contracts if the Government takes steps to require me to close down my facility?

To watch the full recording, please click here. (To note the recording begins at 10 minutes)

If you have any follow up questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers detailed below or use our ‘ask us a question‘ feature.