The New York Department of Financial Services Requests Assurance From Regulated Financial Institutions and Insurance Carriers Regarding Their Preparedness to Respond to COVID-19 Crisis

On March 10, 2020, the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”), which regulates a wide variety of financial institutions, including banks, insurance companies, and investment advisors doing business in New York, issued a series of letters regarding the response to the Novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”).   In addition to providing guidance, DFS has asked all regulated financial institutions to provide “assurance” that they have plans to address the operational and financial risks associated with COVID-19.  A copy of the letter to regulated financial institutions can be found here, and here, a copy of the letter to regulated insurance entities can be found here; and a copy of the letter to regulated institutions engaged in cryptocurrency businesses can be found here.   The DFS has asked these institutions to provide reports regarding their plans “as soon as possible,” but no later than April 9, 2020.

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Employers Facing Layoffs Need to be Mindful of State Laws Regarding Final Pay

In the coming days, weeks and perhaps months, many employers will have difficult decisions to make about their operations and their workforces.  With their operations shutting down or running at less than capacity, many employers will decide that they must lay off employees.

It’s a decision that no employer wishes for or enjoys.  And it is one that poses some risks.

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Aviation Update: Common themes in times of crisis

The Aviation (Enforcement and Recovery) team has been advising clients on issues arising from the current crisis. Three main themes emerge from the current challenges in the airline sector:

1.) Airline insolvency risk.  A number of leasing companies have claims for unpaid rent and maintenance rent. These claims can be pursued by:

  • applying security deposits and enforcing other security; and/or
  • issuing proceedings in the High Court – which will effectively come to halt if the airline then goes into a formal insolvency process; and/or
  • Instigating insolvency proceedings against the airline; and/or
  • Exercising proprietary rights such as arresting and taking possession of the aircraft, with the assistance of a court order or injunction in the relevant location.

Read more…

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An Corona trifft weder den Vermieter noch den Mieter ein Verschulden. An gesetzlichen oder behördlichen Anordnungen in diesem Zusammenhang auch nicht. Liegt daher aus rechtlicher Sicht ein sogenannter „Zufall“ vor, woran sich für Vermieter und Mieter bestimmte Rechtsfolgen ableiten lassen? Nach der Rechtsprechung trägt der Vermieter das Risiko für alle auf Zufall beruhenden Umstände in seiner Sphäre, die den Ausfall oder eine wesentliche Einschränkung der Benutzung des Bestandobjekts zur Folge haben (zB Ausfall der Heizung aufgrund eines Gebrechens beim Gasversorger). Wenn dies vorliegt, dann hat der Mieter Anspruch auf Minderung des Mietzinses. Ist dagegen der Mieter aus einem Zufall in seiner Sphäre verhindert (zB aufgrund eines Unfalles), das Bestandobjekt zu gebrauchen, obwohl es benutzbar ist, so hat er den Mietzins dennoch zu bezahlen. in diesem Zusammenhang ist als „Zufall“ jeder Umstand anzusehen, der trotz gehöriger Sorgfalt nicht abwendbar, somit nicht einem der Vertragspartner als Verschulden anlastbar ist. Read more…

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Insolvency Guide for Lenders, Landlords, Lessees, and Others Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis

The economic havoc unleashed by the COVID-19 crisis in most sectors of the economy will affect businesses and their employees, servicers, customers, and others for the foreseeable future. Among those that are directly and critically affected are banks and other lenders, commercial landlords and tenants, restaurants, and the travel and hospitality industries. All of these areas will see an increase in bankruptcy filings and other insolvency proceedings in the near term. Here is a short guide for some of the issues that will arise in the coming months. Read more…

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Kurzarbeit ist die vorübergehende Herabsetzung der Normalarbeitszeit und in der Folge des Arbeitsentgelts wegen wirtschaftlicher Schwierigkeiten. Kurzarbeit hat den Zweck, die Arbeitskosten temporär zu reduzieren und gleichzeitig die Beschäftigten zu halten.

Die „Corona-Kurzarbeit“ ist eine der aktuellen Situation angepasste Form der Kurzarbeit. Read more…

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Part 1: Force Majeure and Suspension/Termination of Contracts

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is turning out to be a twin fold pandemic – that started with affecting public health and soon spread throughout the economy. Sudden global shutdown and travel restrictions have brought the economy to a screeching halt, before most of us could even comprehend the real impact. Many businesses are still at a loss and are only doing a guesswork regarding the magnitude of potential losses and recalibration needed for the businesses to survive this time, and remain viable.

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FDA Issues Temporary Guidance on Food Supplier Verification Audit Requirements

On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a Temporary Policy regarding preventive controls and food supplier verification audit requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This guidance explains the current intent of FDA to not enforce onsite audit requirements in certain circumstances related to the impact of COVID-19. Such onsite audit requirements can be found in three important food regulations:

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FDA Issues Guidance for Ongoing Clinical Trials During COVID-19 Pandemic

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a guidance document titled, “FDA Guidance on Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during the COVID-19 Pandemic” (the “Guidance”). FDA’s stated purpose in issuing the guidance is to help sponsors to assure the safety of trial participants, maintain compliance with good clinical practice (“GCP”), and minimize risk to the integrity of trials during the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic.

The Guidance recognizes the impact COVID-19 may have on the conduct of ongoing clinical trials, including quarantines, site closures, travel limitations, interruptions to the supply chain, and other considerations should individuals involved in the studies become infected with COVID-19. FDA acknowledges that these factors may impact a sponsor’s ability to meet protocol-specified procedures, and that protocol modifications may be necessary and deviations unavoidable.

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The EEOC Issues Reminder and Guidance Regarding ADA and Rehabilitation Act Compliance During Pandemic

On March 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted an article on its website, “What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19.”  The article confirms that workplace anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC remain applicable, but that nothing in those laws interferes with or prevents “employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local public health authorities about steps employers should take regarding COVID-19.”

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