4 Stone Buildings has published the seventh edition of its free-to-download e-book entitled “Litigation in the Time of Covid-19: Legal issues in commerce, finance and insolvency”.
The e-book contains extensive analysis into the key issues arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the latest legal developments, in contract, corporate insolvency, personal insolvency, company law (including directors’ duties), banking and financial services, civil procedure and offshore litigation.
The key updates to the seventh edition are as follows:
- Section One: Contracts: This section has been significantly restructured, with an additional question on waiving breaches of contract (question 6) added to deal with the scenario whereby parties have not formally varied or terminated the existing contract.
- Section Two: Corporate Insolvency: Questions 24 and 48-50 have been updated following the coming into force of The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Liability for Wrongful Trading and Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020 (here), which reintroduces the suspension of liability for wrongful trading from 26 November 2020 to 30 April 2021.
- Section Three: Personal Insolvency: This section has been updated to reflect: the FCA’s extension of the time period to apply for payment holidays in respect of mortgages and personal credit facilities; to consider the new regulations relating to the execution of a writ or warrant of possession during the second national lockdown; and to consider the decision in Yu v Cawley  EWHC 2429 (Ch) in relation to retrospective substituted service.
- Section Four: Company: This section has been amended principally to take account of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Liability for Wrongful Trading and Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020, which came into force on 26 November 2020, and which provide for (i) a further period of suspension of liability for wrongful trading, namely for the period from 26 November 2020 to 30 April 2021, and (ii) a further extension of the period during which certain requirements in relation to company meetings are relaxed, until 30 March 2021.
- Section Five: Banking and Financial Services: Updates have been made to question 2 to reflect the reintroduction of FCA guidance requiring payment holidays for mortgagors and consumer credit borrowers facing payment difficulties as a result of circumstances relating to coronavirus. Question 17 has also been updated following the hearing by the Supreme Court of leapfrog appeals from the High Court’s decision in FCA v Arch Insurance (UK) Limited  EWHC 2448 (Comm).
- Section Six: Civil Procedure: The chapter has been updated to reflect the expiry of PD51ZA; recent changes to the enforcement regime (question 15); and a new expanded question about the use of face coverings (question 4).
- Section Seven: Litigation in a Virtual World: This section has received a general update and links to further resources. The discussions in question 1 (the general approach of the courts) and question 7 (oral evidence) have been expanded, and there is a new question 11 concerning participants outside the jurisdiction.
- Section Eight: Offshore Litigation: Question 28, which deals with whether the pandemic might entitle a party to rely on force majeure, has been updated to include reference to Lerdan Rental Llc v Linana Engineering Llc  DIFC SCT 330 (November 1, 2020), a case in which the court rejected a defendant’s attempt to rely on force majeure to excuse his failure to pay monies due under a rental agreement for the lease of equipment on the basis that restrictions imposed on account of the pandemic had prevented him from using it.