Monthly Archives: March 2020

Ministry of Justice’s latest set of quarterly statistics on the work of the Family Court, for October to December 2019

The Ministry of Justice has published its latest set of quarterly statistics on the work of the Family Court, for October to December 2019. Overall, it shows that the family court system is still crying out for reform. Amongst the headlines are that divorce proceedings are taking longer which is symptomatic of the challenges family law faces at the moment. Interestingly, there is a decrease in the number of cases starting in the family courts generally. That may well be as a result of couples using alternative methods to resolve their issues such as mediation or arbitration. We note that the number of divorce petitions have decreased. This may be due to the fact that people divorcing are waiting for the no fault divorce to become law.One remains hopeful that the current situation forces the courts to address some of these issues in the near future; we have already seen a positive development in the courts in their reaction to the pandemic with their rapid implementation of electronic bundles and remote hearings so that urgent work can continue. It will be very interesting to see if the current situation leads to expediated reform in other areas, which also require improvement.

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Coronavirus – Answering the question ‘Can you go to work today?’

The answer is not necessarily a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’; it could well be ‘maybe’. Government advice is constantly changing and we are left with what we describe as a ‘semi-lockdown’. Increasingly other countries are going into full lockdown. For …

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Coronavirus: tax relief for the self-employed

Pressure is increasing on the government to announce more help for the self-employed, who make up a significant part of the country’s economy.  Around 5 million people have been attracted to this way of working, which has given them flexibility …

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Coronavirus – Company directors must remember their legal duties

Companies are now faced with unprecedented challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. In this context, company directors will be trying to do everything they can to protect and preserve the business. However, they do still need to remember their legal …

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Coronavirus: Chancellor to announce support for the Self-Employed

However, the House of Commons Public Bill Committee has now sought to include protection for the self-employed under an amendment to the Coronavirus Bill currently before Parliament (which we expect to be passed swiftly). It proposes that freelancers and self-employed …

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Coronavirus & business interruption insurance: practical considerations for tenants   

Typical business insurance policies cover standard risks and are unfortunately unlikely to cover the impact of COVID-19 (including forced closure by the government). Furthermore, business interruption provisions are normally connected to property damage. Cover for business interruption due to infectious …

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The President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice’s formal guidance on compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders

The government’s stark message to “stay at home” has undoubtedly caused much confusion and concern for parents in shared childcare arrangements with their ex-spouses/partners. The government has provided some guidance to parents who find themselves in this predicament and has confirmed that as of 24 March 2020 where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.The President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice issued formal guidance on this on 24 March “Guidance on Compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders” which can be found below. Of note, this guidance explains that whilst an exception to the mandatory ‘stay at home’ requirement has been granted for children under 18; it does not, however, mean that children must be moved between homes. “The decision whether a child is to move between parental homes is for the child’s parents to make after a sensible assessment of the circumstances, including the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other.” The key message appears to be that where restrictions due to coronavirus cause “the letter of a court order to be varied, the spirit of the order should nevertheless be delivered by making safe alternative arrangements for the child.”Collyer Bristow have also considered the challenges of Co-parenting and Coronavirus and have produced “10 top tips for co-parenting in these unprecedented and challenging times.”  The article can be accessed here:

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The Challenge of Co-parenting and Coronavirus

Many parents are in shared child care arrangements of some kind with their ex- spouses/partners. These consist of a variety of different arrangements. Maybe you all live near each other and time with the children is divided equally. Maybe the …

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Coronavirus – what should landlords expect from government measures?

As the UK enters uncharted territory, there are likely to be many changes to “business as usual”. Among these changes, there may be significant factors for landlords to bear in mind. What can residential landlords expect? Proposed emergency eviction freeze …

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Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: an overview for SMEs

CBILS is now available through participating lenders and will initially run for six months. Types of finance The types of finance available will depend on the lender but will include: Term loans Overdrafts Invoice finance Asset finance Key aspects of …

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