We are living and working in extraordinary times. Things we felt certain about just a few days ago are today far from certain: they are changing at a rapid pace. 

Businesses are grappling with the uncertainty on a great many levels. In these turbulent times, we aim to be a source of calm, measured guidance and support for you and your businesses.

Whilst our regular services and expertise continue to be in demand from clients, we are seeing a shift in the nature of some of the work our clients are asking us to undertake with them.

We are advising clients as they test scenarios and plan for the immediate and mid-term future, and to put measures in place to protect their people, their businesses and their customers and clients.

Excellent practitioners from across the practice are coming together and forming specialised teams to assist clients as they work through the potential ramifications of the COVID-19 on their businesses, their people, and their other stakeholders.

In particular, we’re seeing an increase in discussions about health and safety and employee relations; the building and construction industry, which is already seeing significant impacts, is working hard to understand situations and options, and implement contingency plans. We’re receiving a number of requests for construction contract reviews, and property lease enquiries from both tenants and owners.  The regulatory environment for business and corporations is rapidly changing. We are seeing fundamental changes, challenges and increased activity in commercial litigation and disputes, insurance, restructuring and insolvency, banking and finance, transport and logistics and planning and infrastructure law.

We are working closely with our clients to help provide pragmatic advice, sensible guidance, and insightful perspectives. 

In the meantime, we have changed the way we work in order to protect the health of our people and our clients, moving to a predominantly work-from-home model across all our offices, with most meetings taking place remotely via conference calls and secure online platforms. At the same time, we are supporting innovative virtual court hearings from our workspace, enabling major commercial trials to proceed in the face of the disruption caused by this crisis.  We already have digital platforms for property transactions and we are investing in and expanding that initiative to support our clients.

The health and safety of all our people, and our clients and other stakeholders, is of paramount importance. We are actively following all health and safety advice issued by the government and other relevant authorities. Also vitally important is our ability to continue servicing our clients’ needs. I am proud of every individual at the practice, each of whom have flexibly embraced the changes we are asking them to make whilst maintaining an unwavering focus on client service.

Finally, I want to thank our incredible clients for trusting us to advise and guide them through these unprecedented times of change, uncertainty and deep impact.

It’s really important that we all look after one another. The partners and I make ourselves available to you at any time, for support, guidance, or even just a chat.

For more information please contact Linda Branton on 02 8281 4594 or linda.branton@cbp.com.au. 

This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2020.