Commercial solicitor Emma Napper, asks business owners, ‘Is it time you updated your contract terms and conditions?’
The issues that the COVID-19 crisis has presented businesses with are varied and complex. Rapid increases or changes to demand and working practices can be tricky to manage.
Among the challenges facing businesses in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic are:
- Staff being absent with the Coronavirus or needing to self isolate;
- Staff working from home with limited resources;
- Implementing social distancing measures in the workplace;
- Cancellation or postponement of contracts;
- Dealing direct with customers, when before you dealt with wholesalers;
- Organising different logistic solutions;
- Finding yourself unable to fulfil your contractual obligations or dealing with another party unable to uphold their side of an agreement; and
- Finding new business premises to meet demand urgently, or downscaling your operations for the short term.
During these uncertain day businesses find themselves referring to their contract terms and conditions, sometimes for the first time, to see whether they are entitled to postpone or change business contracts.
Others may have reached a temporary agreement with suppliers, clients or tenants that needs to be recorded in a Deed of Variation or a binding side letter.
When considering contractual liabilities or entering into additional contractual arrangements it is important to take expert legal advice. Failure to do so could ultimately result in prolonged and expensive litigation long after the health crisis has passed.
It is also important to look at your business contract terms and conditions going forward. The crisis will have highlighted various risk factors affecting your business that may not have occurred to you before. Now is the time to address them.
It is therefore advisable to take this opportunity to look at your business contract terms and conditions to see if they are suitable for the world we are now dealing with, in order to avoid litigation and disputes further down the line.
By getting a commercial solicitor on board with your day to day decisions you can adapt to the changing business landscape and not only survive the lockdown but have a strong, well thought out business strategy on the other side.
Emma Napper, partner at Slee Blackwell with a wealth of businesses and commercial law experience is happy to provide businesses with support during this difficult time. She can review and re-draft your business contracts terms and conditions, property agreements, temporary agreements deeds of variation and side letters. She can also assist with employment issues.
She can be contacted for a free initial chat on 0808 139 1606 or by email: [email protected]