COVID-19 Hub

COVID-19 Hub

The impact of COVID-19 is far from certain, but it will be significant. Our experts outline the key legal concerns arising in connection with the ever-evolving outbreak of COVID-19. Click on the links below to review some of our most recent material.

If you have any specific queries in relation to the COVID-19 virus, please get in touch with your regular William Fry contact. 


Compulsory Licences on the Horizon for Drugs and Equipment?

As concerns grow globally about the availability of certain drugs and equipment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic will we see other governments follow Israel and start to issue compulsory licences? Read more here...


Energy Market Update:  COVID-19, the RESS 1 Auction and Electricity Consumption in Ireland

The closing date for applications to qualify for the RESS 1 Auction has been extended to Thursday 30 April and we await further changes to the auction timetable in the next month. Read more here...


COVID-19: Key Considerations for Regulated Financial Services Providers

COVID-19 poses profound business and operational resilience challenges for regulated financial services providers. The William Fry Financial Regulation Unit shares some key regulatory and resilience considerations which should be at the forefront for firms in navigating the crisis. In addition to a robust crisis response strategy and business continuity plan, early and proactive engagement with the Central Bank is critical in managing your regulatory risk at this time. Read more here...


Implementation of EU Medical Device Regulation May Face Delay

The European Commission has announced that it is working on a proposal to postpone the date of application of the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) which had been due to make wide-sweeping changes to the regulatory framework for medical devices. Read more here...


Temporary Pause on Employee Ability to Claim Redundancy During Lay-off or short-time

Amid the pressing concerns of helping both businesses and employees through the difficult and uncertain Covid-19 pandemic, the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Bill 2020 amends employees' entitlement to seek redundancy in certain circumstances. This article considers the implications of the proposed suspension of the entitlement during this time. Read more here...


Re-Thinking your Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Following new restrictions regarding the closures of non-essential retail businesses and facilities effective from 23 March 2020, assessing potential risks, ensuring flexibility and maintaining compliance will ensure the effectiveness of your supply chain in these challenging times. Read more here... 


Shareholders' Rights Directive II Becomes Irish Law 

On 20 March 2020, the provisions of the Shareholders' Rights Directive II finally became law in Ireland with the publication of the European Union (Shareholders’ Rights) Regulations 2020.  The SRD II Regulations will apply with effect from 30 March 2020. Read more here...


Where do I sign? Using Electronic Signatures for your Remote Business Dealings during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Using an electronic signature to execute documents is a practical and effective solution to the restrictions faced by businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here...


COVID-19: Adapting the Planning and Building Control Systems

The Government's second COVID-19-related Bill, published on 24 March 2020, is the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Bill 2020 (Bill).  In it, the Planning and Development system is listed as one of several 'vital public service functions' deemed to have real potential to be seriously compromised by the impacts of COVID-19. Read more here...


The New Wage Subsidy Scheme – Is It Fit For Purpose?

The Government has announced a state funded wage subsidy scheme. While initially welcomed by employers as a means of "keeping the lights on" and continuing to employ staff with the benefit of some wage funding from the State, important questions are being asked about how the Subsidy Scheme will operate in practice. This article summarises the key features of the Subsidy Scheme. Read more here...


Government Recommends that all Non-Essential Retail Outlets Close to Members of the Public 

The National Public Health Emergency Team (the NPHET) published an indicative list of what are considered essential retail outlets which are to remain open and implement social distancing measures. Read more here...


Summary of Irish Tax Measures Announced in Response to the Spread of COVID-19 

In response to the spread of the COVID-19, various business support measures have been put in place by European countries.  In this article, we summarise the measures announced by Ireland up to 24 March 2020. Read more here...


COVID-19: Can Trials Conducted via Video-Link Maintain Business Continuity for the Courts?

As courts close and trials are adjourned due to Coronavirus, we consider the impact this may have on the Courts Service of Ireland business continuity and whether video-link technology may offer an alternative means for the provision of justice. Read more here...


COVID-19 Update: Shorting Bans Introduced Across Europe

The last two days has seen Spain, France, Italy and Belgium introduce temporary restrictions on net short positions on shares. Read more here...


COVID-19: Key Issues for Directors

As the business world deals with COVID-19, directors on company boards play a vital role in navigating companies through this crisis. Read more here...

COVID-19 and the Impact on Debt Capital Markets

Before the COVID-19 outbreak took effect, many issuers of debt were keen on exploring new / further debt issuance given the era of historically low interest rates.  COVID-19 has caused widespread disruption on equity and debt markets in recent weeks and we are likely to see a slow-down in activity in the short-term. Read more here...


COVID-19: Practical Considerations for both Landlords and Tenants 

There are challenging times ahead for landlords and tenants of commercial property.  What are 
the challenges and does a commercial lease provide any answers? Read more here...
 

Summary of Irish and international business support measures put in place in response to the spread of COVID-19

Taxand has summarised some of the business support measures taken as at 26 March 2020 in China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and US in response to COVID-19. Read the breakdown here
 

Summary of Irish Tax Measures Announced in Response to the Spread of COVID-19 

In response to the spread of the COVID-19, various business support measures have been put in place by European countries.  In this article, we summarise the measures announced by Ireland up to 19 March 2020. Read more here...


Emergency Measures to Halt the Spread of COVID-19

Government seeks to pass emergency COVID-19 Bill by end of week. Read more here...

The Home Front: Remote Working Guidance for Employers

As thousands of people begin to work remotely, we share our top 5 best practice tips for employers adopting home-working practices. Read more here...

Lay-Off and Short-Time Working in Response to COVID-19 – What Employers Need to Consider

We consider the Irish position on lay-off and short-time in the context of the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. Read more here...

ESMA Lowers Reporting Threshold For Short Positions In Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

ESMA has issued a statement outlining its decision, effective immediately, to temporarily lower the reporting threshold of net short positions in EU traded shares from 0.2% to 0.1% of the issued share capital of the relevant company. Read more here...
 

Impacts of COVID-19 for Borrowers/Lenders

With COVID-19 resulting in business interruptions for many companies and market volatility, borrowers and lenders need to consider the capacity and flexibility afforded under existing financing arrangements. Download some practical steps that can be taken now by borrowers and lenders to help alleviate the position. Read more here...
 

The Cost of the Coronavirus – To Pay or Not to Pay?

We consider whether employees are entitled to be paid when absent from work in various scenarios due to the coronavirus. Read more here...

Force Majeure Clauses: Contracting Against the Coronavirus

Practical advice concerning whether companies can rely on force majeure clauses to remedy a breach of contract if their business is affected by Coronavirus and alternatively, what they should do if faced with a force majeure claim against them? Read more here...
 

How to Handle Coronavirus in the Workplace – Practical Guidance for Employers

The coronavirus has now been categorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Where the Department of Foreign Affairs has cautioned against unnecessary travel to China, what legal implications does this outbreak have closer to home? What steps should employers in Ireland be taking when it comes to ensuring a safe place of work for their employees against the backdrop of a potential coronavirus outbreak? Read more here...

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