Is your business tracking consistently despite the impact of COVID-19?

Has your business or your client's business been impacted, but you have been able to continue on a new or different business model? Have you been able to refocus your business? Have you been able to accommodate under-performing business units? Has your portfolio of clients and products enabled you to hedge against COVID risk?

Our legal experts provide insight and analysis for those businesses who have felt the impact of COVID-19 but have been able to continue trading.


These are unprecedented times, and COVID-19 poses challenging legal situations for many businesses and families.

We provide guidance for COVID-19 queries and give key contact details should you require further legal support.

Worried about solvency?

What you can do now and how your options reduce over time

The sooner you address solvency issues in your business, the more options you will have available to turn your business around. Read more.

What's changed in the extended JobKeeper scheme effective 28 September 2021?

Implications for eligible employers and the flexibilities which remain available to formerly eligible employers

The JobKeeper scheme will continue until 28 March 2021, albeit with some reduced benefits for both employers and employees. Read more.

How will my intellectual property matter be impacted by business restrictions?

IP Australia maintains business continuity during COVID-19

IP Australia has published updates on how it is maintaining its services during COVID-19, in relation to hearings, correspondence, filing documents, making payments, extensions and PBR applications. Read more.

I am a franchisor or franchisee. Have my obligations changed under Australian Consumer Law?

Navigating financial and operational challenges in the franchising sector during COVID-19

The ACCC has published guidance to help franchise parties navigate the operational and financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

How do I approach my customers about outstanding debt?

Businesses talking to their customers now about unpaid debt will be best equipped to secure maximum recoveries

25 September 2020 will see the end of the Federal Government's moratorium on the initiating steps that a business can take to recover debt from another business through the creditor's statutory demand or bankruptcy notice processes. Read more.

Are you thinking of undertaking a round of capital raising?

Advice for ASX-listed companies seeking to raise equity

You may be able to access the temporary relief measures enabled by the ASX (under the watchful eye of ASIC), which are currently in place until 30 November 2020. Read more.

What has the ACCC's response been to COVID-19?

ACCC takes a co-operative approach to interim authorisations

The ACCC has announced that it is "highly conscious" of the impact of COVID-19 on Australian consumers and businesses, and has taken a co-operative approach to interim authorisations for what would otherwise be cartel conduct. The ACCC has made numerous interim authorisations within short timeframes to facilitate sensible collaboration between businesses in response to the pandemic.

Conversely, the ACCC is carefully scrutinising how businesses are handling requests for refunds and credit notes of cancelled goods and services as a result of COVID-19. It is important for businesses not to ignore their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law when dealing with consumers during the pandemic.

Please contact Greg McKenzie, Scott Traeger or Luke Callaghan from our Commercial Disputes team to discuss any enforcement-related regulatory issues.

Do you have a Court appearance in the next few months?

Remote hearings and remote witnessing are the new norm

Most Courts have adopted alternative methods for hearing matters as a result of COVID-19. For example, the Supreme Court of Victoria has transitioned to hearing most matters remotely, even without the need for an appearance by either party in some circumstances.

Most Courts have also permitted remote witnessing of documents, or the submission of unsigned witness statements, so long as certain protocols are followed. It is essential that your technology is up to scratch and ready for preparing and accessing electronic Court books, and facilitating the electronic sharing of documents.

Please contact Greg McKenzie or Luke Callaghan from our Commercial Disputes team to discuss the latest updates from the Courts, or technological solutions you can adopt to facilitate remote hearings.

Are you or your contractor experiencing cash flow issues on construction projects as a result of COVID-19?

Your rights to prompt payment

Whilst there has been no government-mandated shutdown of construction sites in Australia, the adage 'cash is king' has never been truer, as many businesses experience cash flow issues during the pandemic.

We have seen an increasing number of contractors and subcontractors since March, unable to complete projects and subsequently go into liquidation as a result of the pandemic, and have advised businesses of their rights in those circumstances.

In the current economic climate, those operating in the construction industry need to now more than ever, be aware of their rights under the Security of Payment Acts (nationally) to enforce their rights to payment.

Please reach out to Elon Zlotnick from the Construction team to discuss enforcing (or responding to) rights under the Security of Payment Acts (nationally), as well as any other construction or infrastructure-related issues you are facing during COVID-19.

Is your commercial lease up for renegotiation in the coming weeks?

Agreeing the terms of a new lease

It is difficult for both landlords and tenants to make a decision to renew a lease (particularly of retail premises) given the uncertainty arising from the pandemic.

Renewal may take the form of a tenant exercising an option in the current lease or the parties entering into negotiations for a new lease for the premises.

One of the main issues that parties are grappling with currently are the appropriate terms of the new lease, in particular, what the market rent should be. There may be a number of different options to deal with this issue, including the appointment of an independent valuer, or deferral of the assessment until market conditions stabilise.

If you're a landlord or a tenant and require assistance negotiating certain aspects of your new lease (such as market valuations), please reach out to our Commercial Disputes team to discuss your matter.

Do you need assistance with conducting virtual board or member meetings?

Important Corporations Act changes allow for virtual meetings and electronic execution

Temporary changes, in force until 6 November 2020, are designed to overcome the impact of COVID-19 by allowing virtual AGMs and electronic execution. Read more.

A guide to the National Cabinet's mandatory code of conduct for small and medium enterprise commercial leasing principles during COVID-19

All affected businesses should invite discussion on their leasing arrangements

This guidance looks at issues of eligibility, timing, key negotiation and leasing principles and mediation relating to the Code. Read more.

Privacy considerations for employees working from home

Five steps your organisation should be taking to minimise risk

The rapid and unexpected shift by many businesses to remote working models can present cybersecurity and privacy risks. Here's what your organisation can do to ensure adequate protocols are maintained and staff are aware of potential risks. Read more.

How will workplace health and safety requirements change post COVID-19?

Working remotely and work health and safety

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has devised short, medium and long-term measures to help workplaces recover from the pandemic, and be prepared for similar outbreaks in the future. Read more.

What you need to know about COVID and changing insolvency laws

COVID-19: Temporary changes to insolvency laws

This update looks at the changes to directors' liabilities, creditors' statutory demands, and bankruptcy notices in light of the COVID Act. Read more.

Our team is actively monitoring and considering the implications of legal and regulatory developments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find our COVID-19 collection here.

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