Q&A – Advice for tenants and landlords during Covid-19

This week in our series of legal Q&A vlogs with CityX, Commercial Partner, Malachy McGill answers questions for tenants and landlords during Covid-19. Watch the full Q&A below: 0:49 – We’ve heard about the issues with residential conveyancing and the difficulties with people trying to move home. Are commercial sales/purchases affected in the same way or are these able to proceed in the current climate? 2:41 – If I am a tenant under a commercial lease, can I get out of the lease/terminate as a result of Covid? 4:51 – Can I suspend my rent payments as a result of Covid? 6:21 – We’ve been hearing about measures which have…

Andrew Payne retires as the firm’s Senior Partner

Andrew Payne will retire as Senior Partner of Sills & Betteridge LLP on 31st May. He will continue to work for the firm as a Consultant in the Corporate & Commercial department, but his position as Senior Partner will now be taken over by Stephen Wilson. Andrew, originally from Lincoln returned to the city in 1976 upon graduation from Leeds University and the Guildford College of Law. He completed his articles with another local firm, joining Sills & Betteridge in 1978, then a small practice on Silver Street with ten staff. Andrew became a Partner in 1979 and then on the retirement of Roger Wallis in 2006, he took the…

Doctors, dentists, vets – do you have your practice in order?

“Euan and I have worked together to support a number of GP practices in relation to partnership and contractual matters. Euan certainly understands the GP sector and has a very calm and reassuring manner when helping GPs navigate the complexities of the law in this area.” Christine Newitt, Director, Duncan & Toplis Professional businesses are facing a number of unique challenges at the moment; from GP practices seeking to correctly sign-post suspected Covid-19 patients whilst dealing with other matters via video-link, to dentistry and veterinary practices seeking to combine caring for their patients with social distancing and protecting their staff. At times like these, there is a risk that business…

Holiday cancellations – fixed fee advice service

Many of us are in the unfortunate position of having holidays cancelled during the Covid-19 crisis period – either for travel dates that have already passed, or for dates later this year. Many of us are finding that the travel companies we booked through are not exactly rushing to issue refunds! The purpose of this blog post is two-fold – firstly to give you some guidance on the general legal position, and secondly to set out the fixed-fee advice service that Sills & Betteridge offer if you are affected.

Why a Lasting Power of Attorney could help you and your family

By providing useful guidance and up to date information we hope that our clients and potential clients will be able to make better, more informed decisions regarding their affairs. The Law Society and the British Banking Association in cooperation with a number of other key institutions have previously issued guidance to be considered where a customer may lack mental capacity. The guidance states that in the event that a bank or building society or any other financial institution have doubts about the mental capacity of a customer, they should take steps to safeguard that customer’s accounts. From experience, we are aware that this includes freezing that customer’s accounts apart from…

Divorce During Lockdown

Going through a divorce or separation is stressful in normal circumstances, but with the current situation surrounding COVID-19, many couples are facing even greater struggles. Whether you have already started the divorce process or have come to the difficult decision during this period of lockdown that your relationship has come to an end, at Sills & Betteridge we understand the importance of being available to advise, reassure and support you. We have adapted new ways of working which enable us to continue to support families during this time and are still offering our Preliminary Advice Meetings by telephone, at a reduced rate of £100 plus VAT. This meeting includes a…

Moving House during the Coronavirus Lockdown

Our Conveyancing teams across all 15 offices are still working and supporting our clients through the current unprecedented Coronavirus lockdown. Naturally, there are lots of concerns about what the current situation means for property transactions and we have answered some of the common questions we receive in this blog: What does the Government advise? Home moves into occupied properties are only permitted where contracts had been exchanged before the lockdown, and where it has not been possible for the parties involved to agree a deferral. Home moves into unoccupied properties can continue, subject to the following: The move must take account of the guidance currently in force from Public Health…

Domestic Abuse, lockdown and the Family Courts – three weeks in, what have we learnt?

We are now three weeks into lockdown and statistics continue to show a worrying rise in the number of calls to Domestic Abuse helplines. During this time, the Family Court continues to function and our Emergency Team is working hard to secure protective injunctions for our clients. We’ve secured dozens of protective injunctions at ‘remote’ telephone Court hearings. We set out below some of what we have learnt so far: ‘Remote’ Hearings These have become common practice for securing emergency protective injunctions such as Non-molestation Orders or Occupation Orders. Remote hearings either take place via telephone or video call and can be a quick, effective way to ensure protection for…

Q&A – Your Covid-19 related contractual questions answered

The second in a series of Q&A vlogs, Commercial Partner, Euan McLaughlin answers your Covid-19 related contractual questions. Watch the full Q&A below: 00:46 – One of our suppliers has written to us claiming “force majeure” – what does the phrase “force majeure” mean? 01:24 – Does Covid-19 count as a “force majeure”? 02:18 – What happens if Covid-19 does count as a “force majeure”? 03:04 – What happens if you can still perform your obligations, but you’d just prefer not to? 03:43 – What if the contract has no force majeure clause, or Covid-19 doesn’t fit within the force majeure clause in the contract – are there any other…