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VIDEO: Market outlooks – the before, during and after

At 10am on the 21st July, we hosted the fourth of our “in conversation…” webinars, this time featuring the ninth largest private bank in the world, Swiss-based Julius Baer. Ward Hadaway partner Emma Digby once again lead the conversation, this time with Luke Downes and Darren Hirst from their investment and relationship teams on “Market outlooks – the before, during and after”. They were joined by Andrew Evans from our private client team to feed in his perspective. This will be of interest to individuals who are thinking about investment portfolios and pension pots, but also businesses keen to see how investors are viewing their sectors, markets and customers.

Luke and Darren took us through how the markets looked pre-Covid, how they responded to the pandemic, and obviously most importantly what we might expect going forwards. They took a look at the sectors that are seeing the quickest bounce-back, discuss which countries are likely to be the most attractive for investors, and where the long term financial gains are expected to be. They also touched on that imminent event, shrouded in mist recently but no less significant – Brexit! What is the expected effect on the markets, and who are likely to be the winners and the losers?

Related FAQs

I’m in the process of litigation. What happens during the coronavirus outbreak?

The best advice is that parties should proceed as they would have done before the crisis began.

Are there any exceptions to the obligation to return deposits?

The CMA sees only limited circumstances in which a full refund would not be given. The CMA accepts that where public health measures prevent a business from providing a service or the consumer from receiving it, the business may be able to deduct a contribution to the costs it has already incurred in relation to the specific contract in question.

This view reflects a relatively complex area of law under which parties are released from obligations under a contract if performance of that contract becomes impossible or illegal. This is called “frustration” of the contract. Under a law passed during World War II, a party to a contract that is frustrated who has incurred expenses is permitted, if the court thinks fit, to retain an amount up to the value of those expenses out of any money they have been paid by the other party.

The CMA’s view, however, is that this will not happen often, and that deductions from deposits will be limited.

What are the new rules around holiday entitlement?

Workers who have not taken 20 days holiday entitlement due to Covid-19 can now carry it over into the next 2 leave years. It only applies where it was not reasonably practicable for a worker to take their annual leave due to the coronavirus.

Employer furlough schemes

Furlough means temporary leave of absence. There is nothing to stop an employer seeking to agree a temporary leave of absence – with or without pay – with its workforce.

This could not be forced on an employee without significant risk. Without agreement, this would need fair selection and consultation – more on that later.

Is the Land Registry functioning?

Yes. The Land Registry published a new service update on 14 May, here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-impact-on-hm-land-registrys-service

Importantly, the Land Registry will process registrations where documents have been executed using the Mercury signing approach:

For land registration purposes, a signature page will need to be signed in pen and witnessed in person (not by a video call). The signature will then need to be captured, with a scanner or a camera, to produce a PDF, JPEG or other suitable copy of the signed signature page. Each party sends a single email to their conveyancer to which is attached the final agreed copy of the document and the copy of the signed signature page.

To summarise some further points:

  • Most information enquiries are experiencing minimal delays
  • Registrations of new titles, such as on sales of part or new leases, and applications to update existing titles, are experiencing more significant delays but can be expedited via the expedite service
  • Cancellation dates for replying to requisitions are extended until further notice
  • Access to free documents on the land registry portal has been extended to 90 days from completion of the transaction
  • Identity requirements have been relaxed. The Land Registry will now raise a requisition for identity documents, and not cancel applications
  • Requests for extensions to a notice or objection period will be granted if lawfully possible
  • Land charges searches can be submitted electronically with PDF documents