How Law Firms Will Provide Legal Services With Coronavirus
As Australia shuts down essential legal services we remind our valued clients to be prepared for uncertainty. Aylward Game has enabled various measures to protect your health at any cost. We have set up a fully 100% contactless service and have sole use of our office locations so that no face-to-face contact will be made […]
How Law Firms Will Provide Legal Services With Coronavirus
As Australia shuts down essential legal services we remind our valued clients to be prepared for uncertainty.
Aylward Game has enabled various measures to protect your health at any cost. We have set up a fully 100% contactless service and have sole use of our office locations so that no face-to-face contact will be made with any member of staff. We can handle all of your legal services needs remotely.
The Courts are in line for a shutdown that would see all matters delisted and rescheduled for a later time. Mediations and arbitrations are not affected by this and we have seen a number of matters in the past 24-hours progress from Courts away into this format in the interests of expediting the matter for all parties.
We will be keeping everyone informed as to the latest information we have available regarding the Court schedule. We expect there to be some changes as the situation evolves.
We want all Australians to keep sharing good times and feel safe during this period. Having been around for 21 years, we know the country may depend on legal services in this period and we want to assure you of that, through the steps we are taking.
A “CONTACTLESS LEGAL DELIVERY SERVICE” option is now available for anyone who may be self-isolating or wishing to take extra precautions. Aylward Game is fully set up to communicate remotely and (if required) we also ask you to provide instructions on how you would like us to hand your documents or other materials over. All you need is a phone or any device connected to the internet. Meeting face to face remains possible thanks to modern technology.
We’ve processed an increasing number of property transactions via the PEXA platform, which is very simple to use and makes the process easy. We’re also paying the PEXA fee for all our clients to make things even easier. Property transactions are surprisingly consistent.
If you’re concerned about your business or finances in relation to insolvency or statutory demands or any other matter that is causing concern, we’re here to help.
Any transaction or dispute in court you are dealing with may be affected by the current situation and you are well-advised to stay ahead of the game.
As an alternative to any court delays, mediation can proceed without contact and serve the purposes of settlement whilst avoiding court delays.
We regularly have clients sit at home and attend mediation.
Mark Game outlines a few fundamentals to protecting themselves in uncertain times:
- Make a plan-Focus on what is within your control and what your business key drivers are.
- Is the work environment for staff and customers safe?
- What business expenses are key to the business operating and which are not?
- Are there any business expenses that can be reduced without impacting the business’s long-term viability?
- Which revenue streams have been impacted?
- What initiatives can be undertaken to protect and maintain revenue?
- What obligations do you have to financial institutions through facilities?
- What statutory obligations exist?
Taking stock of your circumstances will allow you to:
- Design a plan to ensure a safe environment for your staff and customers. How are you communicating that a safe environment exists? How often are you communicating?
- Optimise Revenue—what revenue initiatives can be undertaken to maintain a sustainable level of income—consider the collection of debtors, sale campaigns, alternative delivery methods (online). Are there new revenue initiatives that can be undertaken as a result of changing market conditions?
- Supply Lines—ask your suppliers if they can recommend alternative supply lines if they’re affected by imports. If they can’t, explore finding alternative lines of supply.
- Reduce Expenses—a detailed review of business expenses should be undertaken to identify any expenses that can be reduced or even eliminated altogether. This could be a reduction in staffing hours, termination of unnecessary or non-essential legal services, or even sale of surplus assets that are subject to finance.
- Deferral of expenses—are there any other expenses that can be postponed? Are there any creditors including suppliers and landlords that are willing and able to provide such support through relaxed payment terms? The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can provide relief through the following initiatives:
- Deferring (by up to four months) the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement—including pay as you go (PAYG) installments)—income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments, and excise tax.
- Allowing businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to.
- Allowing businesses to vary PAYG installment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Those businesses can also claim a refund for any installments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.
- Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities.
- Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter into low-interest payment plans.
- Financier support—contact your financier to discuss what financial support is available (usually by way of deferred payment terms under the loan facility).
- Consider Government Assistance – work out which government support applies to your circumstances.
Above all, seek clarity from a trusted advisor and ensure you are equipped with the correct information.
Aylward Game is standing by to assist you on 1800 217 217.