In these unprecedented times, Axiom Stone Solicitors will, in common with other businesses, be following the Government's official advice on social distancing and social isolating.

Public health measures must have the highest priority and, as a result, some staff will be working from home. Also, our offices will be closed to visitors.

However, we wish to reassure existing and potential clients that we will continue to provide the highest levels of service.

Please be assured we have a robust business continuity plan in place that is designed to minimise the impact on our service to you.

In addition, please continue to contact us electronically or by phone in relation to the progress of your matters or on any issues of concern to you.

Until further notice, service of claim forms, application notices and all other court documents and contractual notices must be made to our head office only (we shall not accept service through any other means). Our head office address is at Axiom Stone Solicitors, Axiom House, 1 Spring Villa Road, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7EB. We ask that all other correspondence be sent by email to the relevant member of Axiom Stone Solicitors. In the event that service of court documents or contractual notices is attempted by post, courier, DX, or fax to any address other than that of our Head Office, we cannot provide any assurance that they will be received or processed. We are grateful for your understanding at this time.

We will update this information regularly on our website (Please see COVID-19 Updates Here) and via social media.

Finally, we urge everybody to follow the official advice on fighting the virus outbreak so enabling you to stay safe and well.

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COVID-19 Effects on Finance Arrangements

For many companies and businesses, the untimely outbreak of COVID-19 has been stressful, creating uncertainty and doubt.  At the time of writing this article, the Government’s closure of businesses, including hospitality, transport, retail and many labour intensive industries, has expectedly reduced trade and forced companies and businesses to consider their commercial interests during this period.

Many companies and businesses have financial arrangements that are key to their commercial operations.  Companies and businesses need to carefully manage these arrangements.

Financial difficulties suffered by a company or a business, existing or anticipated, may trigger an event of default.  Companies and businesses must review the financial covenants of their arrangements, to the extent any financial difficulties resulting from the current situation surrounding COVID-19 amounts to a breach of these covenants.  Many finance arrangements are drawn up with covenants to protect the lender in the event of companies and businesses, as borrowers, are suffering from financial difficulties.  However, those financial arrangements are usually reliant on the borrower co-operating and making the lender aware as soon as possible.  Any breach of covenant that leads to delayed correction and resolution can have severe long-term effects on a company or business, including the ability to seek new financial arrangements in the future.

Many financial arrangements also have provisions for Material Adverse Change (also known as MAC) designed to capture and measure the effect of unpredictable and unforeseen events or circumstances.  The provisions for MAC vary with every financial arrangement.  However, the scope of the definition for MAC is often drafted widely, often referring to changes in “business, operations, property, condition or prospects of the borrower” or “on the ability of the borrower to perform its obligations”.  It remains to be seen if MAC clauses will be triggered in the current situation; companies and businesses should review their financial arrangements to determine if MAC clauses exist and if the clause’s precise wording is triggered by the effects of COVID-19.

Companies and businesses are advised to speak to their lenders and discuss the options available to them in the event there may be a breach of financial covenants or a trigger of existing MAC clauses.

For advice on financial arrangements, please contact Claudine Lawrence, Partner and head of our Corporate and Commercial Department on 0203 827 6117 or cll@axiomstone.co.uk.