October 20, 2020
4 Stone Buildings has published the sixth 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 sixth edition has benefitted from a comprehensive review. The key updates are as follows:
- Section One: Contracts: A new question 4 has been added which deals with the possibility of suspending contractual performance in the context of the pandemic. Questions 6 and 7, which deal with material adverse change clauses, have been updated to address the recent High Court decision in Travelport v WEX  EWHC 2670 (Comm), which was handed down on 12 October 2020.
- Section Two: Corporate Insolvency: Updates have been made to questions 1, 2, 4 and 6 to reflect the expiry of some of the temporary modifications to the moratorium regime that had been made to assist companies during the immediate circumstances of the pandemic; and to question 49 following the end of the suspension of wrongful trading. In relation to restructuring plans under Part 26A Companies Act 2006, questions 20, 21, 26 and 27 have been updated to reflect the recent decision in Re Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd  EWHC 2376 (Ch). Changes have been made throughout to reflect the introduction of a new Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction, which came into force on 2 October 2020.
- Section Three: Personal Insolvency: Updates have been made to questions 6 and 9 following the issuance of the new Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction. Question 14 has also been updated following the amendment of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for the Straightforward Consumer IVA Proposal by the IVA Standing Committee.
- Section Four: Company: The section has been amended generally to reflect the ending of some pandemic related measures and the extension of others via the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020. Recent developments concerning Government business support schemes, described in question 6, and Companies House strike off procedures, described in question 13, are also covered.
- Section Five: Banking and Financial Services: A new subsection has been added to address the topic of business interruption insurance. Question 15 deals with the actions taken by the FCA since the onset of the pandemic in relation to business interruption insurance. Questions 16 and 17 then address the decision of the High Court handed down in test case proceedings brought by the FCA (FCA v Arch Insurance (UK) Limited  EWHC 2448 (Comm)) and what effect this decision will have on insurers and policyholders.
- Section Six: Civil Procedure: This section now includes the latest statistics on the effect of the pandemic to the courts, as well as a new protocol for clinical negligence claims which suspends the running of limitation (question 12) and recent changes to the enforcement regime (question 15).
- Section Seven: Litigation in a Virtual World: This section has received a general update and new links to further resources, and contains additional discussion of technology and private hearings (the latter in a new question 10). Material concerning when a matter will be heard in person has been moved from the Civil Procedure and ADR section into question 1 of this section.
- Section Eight: Offshore Litigation: Question 32, which deals with the approach the DIFC courts have taken to extending time for compliance with court deadlines in the context of the pandemic, has been updated to include reference to CFI 024/2020 Hana Habib Mansoor Habib Al Herz v (1) Sunset Hospitality Holdings Limited (2) Peatura Fz Llc (October 1, 2020; CFI), a case in which the court refused an application to adduce additional evidence on grounds which included restrictions introduced on account of the pandemic having prevented such evidence being adduced previously.
The e-book is a live publication and is being updated regularly to cover new authorities and legislation. Updates to the e-book will be posted to this website, although if you would like to receive new editions as they are released, please email us at email@example.com.
The publication is organised into separate questions and answers to provide readers with a clear, comprehensive guide to the key legal questions arising in the current climate.
The e-book is a collaborative project of the members of 4 Stone Buildings. Members are experts in the fields of practice covered by the e-book.