We witnessed a healthy debate on the impact of COVID19 on the Corporates, a legal perspective by our esteemed panelists
Pawan Singhal, Chief Legal Officer - Ather Energy
Advocate Aaron Solomon, Managing Partner - Solomon & Co.
Hitesh Mehra, General Counsel - INTELLECT Design Arena Limited
Dr. Mukul Shastry, General Manager - Legal - Adani Group
Advocate Sanjiv Dagar, Managing Partner - Legajoist
Himanshu Gupta, Founder & CEO - Lawyered (Moderator)
Questions discussed with the panelists-
1. What help is available for start-ups and SMEs whilst the world is on hold tackling covid-19? What can they hang on to so as to keep themselves relatively stable?
2. The COVID-19 outbreak could begin to throw up a variety of employment law issues relating to travel, health and safety concerns, sickness and absence. How will an employer tackle these?
3. Parties may also cite COVID-19 as a basis for renegotiation of price or other key contractual provisions. Will it be fair to the other party? Whether the obligation to make payments under the contract can be delayed or withheld due to the lockdown?
4. Will COVID-19 give rise to a valid force majeure defence under every contract and in every circumstance, as different contracts and governing laws stipulate different requirements for different situations?
5. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak, why is it critical that the board of directors understand the scope and extent of their statutory and fiduciary duties? What will be the main duties and responsibilities of the pullman (Legal and General) in various companies!
6. Do you believe that the changes and additional measures taken up with regard to Board Meetings under the Companies Act of 2013 are realistic and possible?
7. Whether COVID-19 would trigger a Material Adverse Change (generic or specific)? How do you tell whether a MAC has or has not been triggered?
How will the employer’s travel insurance policies respond in situations like staff travelling abroad on business?
8. Whether the time period of 30 days for issuing a Demand Notice under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 shall stand extended in view of the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court extending the limitation period?
9. Considering the supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak what will be the Implications on Contracts?
10. How does the virus affect the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 with reference to the suspension of Section 7, 9, and 10?
Questions by the Audience:
1. What would be alternate methods or communications or forums available and can be adopted by the service provider to demand for the long-pending payment due from the customer, instead of opting NCLT or litigation at this point of time
2. Can a contract be renegotiated if specific clauses are absent?
3. Can “Business interruption insurance” cover under Covid-19
4. For Dr Mukul Shastry, what are the implications of labour laws suspension in MP, UP and Gujarat on corporates when their core business is based in these states?
5. What are the pitfalls that must be kept in mind and avoided while drafting a force majeure clause?