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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Many have seen the latest news reports that Landlords’ hands are going to be tied even further with the steps that they can take to recover outstanding rent during the COVID-19 outbreak. These additional restrictions may be included in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill, the wording of which we are still awaiting. 

The effect will be that any winding up petition that claims that the company is unable to pay its debts must first be reviewed by the court to determine why. Where the company’s inability to pay is the result of COVID-19, the law will not permit petitions to be presented, or winding up orders made.

However, the good news for landlords is that, first and foremost, these restrictions are not yet law.  In Shorts Gardens LLB v London Borough of Camden Council [2020] EWHC 1001 (Ch), Mr Justice Snowden did not accept that COVID-19 and prospective legislation by the government in relation to insolvency was a good reason to restrain winding up petitions.

In addition to this ruling, there are three key points about the potential new restrictions:

  • A winding up petition is almost certain to fail as opposed to a bankruptcy petition;
  • The debt of a company cannot be enforced in this method, but no reference is made to an individual; and
  • The burden falls on the tenant to prove that they cannot pay the rent as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

We would advise that before you take any steps, speak to one of our Dispute Resolution specialists to identify the best course of action open to you.  We are advising many landlords at present on varying matters and are ensuring that we stay informed about the changes taking place on a daily basis.

Contact our Dispute Resolution team to discuss ways in which your position might benefit.

Call Daniel Gleek (Partner in charge of Dispute Resolution) on 020 3827 6115.