The potential impact of COVID-19 is constantly evolving as case numbers in New Zealand continue to increase and further Government restrictions are announced. We want to assure our clients and any businesses that are in need of legal assistance that Lane Neave remains open and ready to support you through this difficult time. The health and well-being of our teams, our clients, and the public are our top priority, but we are well resourced and prepared to work remotely to continue to help.
It is certainly true to say that we do not know what tomorrow will bring, but we can take steps now to be prepared for a range of uncertainties. This is a good opportunity for people and business to work together and find solutions that will help everyone get through.
Our corporate team is currently assisting our clients in a number of areas. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can help you:
- Contract issues:
- Advice on when force majeure clauses can be relied upon to suspend contractual obligations and the consequences of this on business arrangements going forward
- Contract termination options and frustration
- Re-negotiating contracts and credit terms to address working capital issues or a party’s limited ability to perform obligations
- Transactional matters:
- Ability to exit, defer or amend the terms of existing business sale and purchase agreements, including consideration of conditional agreements and material adverse change provisions
- Advice around distressed or fast-tracked asset sales – which in this situation may be used as a means to generate cash to bridge the gap until matters return to business as usual or to divest failing branches of your business
- Corporate matters:
- Complying with director duties and considerations as to solvent trading
- Stakeholder engagement, shareholder communications and continuous disclosure obligations
- Holding virtual shareholder meetings
- Privacy issues for customers or others that attend your premises and are found to be unwell
- Data protection and advice in connection with crisis management plans
- Support and advice in accessing the government rescue package.
In addition to the above, our employment team continues to assist clients with a raft of employment matters which may be relevant to your business as this situation progresses:
- Advice in supporting employees who are unwell or required to self-isolate
- Obligations and options in regard to leave entitlements
- Health and safety obligations
- Privacy issues for employees that are unwell or have been exposed, and issues around testing for the virus
- Employee redundancy or restructure processes which may become necessary.
If you would like to talk through any of the issues you are facing in this uncertain time, then please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Business Law team
Gerard Dale, Claire Evans, Graeme Crombie, Evelyn Jones, Anna Ryan, Joelle Grace, Peter Orpin, Ellen Sewell, Matt Tolan, Carlo Wan, Kristina Sutherland, Jacob Nutt, Whitney Moore, Alex Stone, Ben Cooper