End In Sight Pushed Back Beyond Sight

Posted on Mar 26, 2021. by NTI

There was never going to be a night when you went to bed amid Government restrictions, lockdown and all the collective weirdness of standing outside our houses and banging pans for people who couldn't hear ... and the next morning everything was normal again; birds tweeting, sun streaming through white shutters and milkmaids in cotton dresses clicking their heels as they clinked their pails. But, when will it end?

It was beyond inevitable that the Government would extend temporary insolvency-related measures glued into CIGA as long as the French were slagging off our vaccine and Ursula von der Leyen was saying that AstraZeneca had to “catch up” to honour the contract it has with the European Member States. If ever a woman looked like she needs a jab, it's her. A left from Anthony Joshua should do it.

So, it is a routine report this morning (Friday 26 March) setting out the extensions to existing insolvency-related temporary measures to end of June (and a couple to the end of September) 2021.

Which is your favourite?

Commercial leases cannot be forfeited for non-payment of rent or other sums until 30 June now, along with restrictions on landlords using CRAR (until 90 days rent is in arrears) have been extended, a nice little British Summertime blessing for tenants.

Relaxation of directors' liability under section 214 Wrongful Trading  for any worsening of a company’s financial position in the relevant period, also until 30 June, is a relief for those business leaders who ought to know that their company cannot avoid insolvent Liquidation, but are too busy with another bounceback loan and a holiday brochure to spot it.

Statutory demands in the relevant period (up to 30 June) are void, and there has been an extension to the restrictions on the court's jurisdiction to make a winding-up Order to the same date. The stench of fetid companies will be around for a while.

Small business suppliers are exempt from the prohibition on enforcement of ipso facto clauses (those allowing one party to a contract to terminate, or impose altered terms, solely on the basis of the insolvency of the counterparty, in contracts for the supply of goods or services) are extended to the same date.

Finally, some of the conditions to the commencement of a moratorium are eased until 30 September 2021.

If your plan is to ink new dates into your diary we at NTI recommend you put down your pen and pick up a pencil; it will be a while yet.

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