The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
By reviewing your business’s commercial contracts, you can assess its exposure and plan for the next few years in the run up to Brexit. Key issues to consider include:
- The inclusion of provisions enabling your business to renegotiate the contract to mitigate costs should there be any departure from EU law by the UK government or increased costs as a result of Brexit.
- Whether a break clause would be appropriate in the new contracts being negotiated to align with the likely trigger of Article 50 and/or the UK’s exit from the EU.
- A review of pricing structures that may not currently include tariffs, quotas or other barriers associated with the free movement of goods, which may be introduced following Brexit.
- An assessment of the impact of the market disruption on your business’s finances and those of your clients to evaluate whether currency fluctuations will be a significant factor either in relation to the price of goods or the liquidity of the business. The contract should include a mechanism for determining the currency rate.
- Review which party will be liable to adopt any regulatory changes and the cost of implementing the changes.
- Assess which EU laws the business currently complies with and which are applicable in the contract that may be susceptible to change (if any) following Brexit. For example, if you are in contract with a public sector body that is subject to the EU Procurement Rules, any repeal or amendment to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (which derive from EU Directives on public procurement) might mean a change to some of the common provisions around termination for breach of these rules or variations to the contract.
- Are there any trigger terms that you can exercise or that can be exercised against your business on Brexit, such as, provisions concerning illegality or material adverse change?
- Assess whether your business or any of your client’s business relies on EU funding or grants? What percentage of the business relies on EU trade?
- Does the territorial application of the agreement refer to the “exclusive right to operate in the EU” and need to be revised?
- Whether Brexit should be a termination trigger in the contract in light of how Brexit will affect its own business.
These considerations are only a starting point when reviewing commercial contracts. The commercial team at Anthony Collins Solicitors would be happy to help with any review, strategic or governance advice your business requires to get Brexit ready.
For more information
For more information on commercial contracts and how Brexit might affect your organisation please contact Laura Oseland, Solicitor in the Governance and Commercial Team.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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