In pre-Covid-19, ordinary times, I’d become accustomed to having the following types of exchanges with clients:
Me: Your terms and conditions document is looking a little tired, how about we give it an update?
Client: I know we need to, but there’s so much going on, it’s just not a priority right now.
Me: Those succession planning documents we spoke of a while back should really progress soon, how about we get it moving?
Client: You know I would… but I really don’t want to. [subtext: I’m way too squeamish to think about death right now].
Me: You know we still have that Shareholders Agreement on the to-do list, shall we take a look?
Client: Great idea, but frankly, I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon that deal with that at the moment.
However, these are not ordinary times. With many businesses now in partial trading suspense or experiencing significant downturns in activity, now is the ideal time to address that plethora of legal issues which you’ve been putting off for far too long. In our experience, things businesses tend to regularly put off include:
- Changing a business structure they’ve outgrown;
- Updating corporate compliance documentation;
- Revising their trading terms and conditions;
- Preparing succession agreements to align with their current insurance arrangements;
- Creating streamlined employment agreements;
- Putting in place new or updated shareholders or unitholders agreements
- Formalising a change of trustee or beneficiary of a trust; and
- Registering trademarks, creating inter-company licence agreements and other efforts to protect their intellectual property.
So if you’d like to make the most of your downtime to deal with the legal equivalent of the freezer defrost, let us disconnect the power, hold the bucket and get the sponges so you can hit the ground running when things resume their normal pace.
Joseph Carneli, Senior Associate