Legal Considerations in Today's Businesses
By: Chambersfield Economides Kranos
Legal Considerations in Today's Businesses
The disruptive force of the Covid-19 Pandemic has disturbed the balance of all businesses' operations and changed the way people think and act. Today's world strives to adapt to continue functioning, retain economic stability and society's welfare.
In this new reality, businesses are in a high anxiety state and undertake intensive actions to secure their staff and retain business relations with clients, shareholders, stakeholders, and partners.
Even though the crisis is critically affecting our way of life, there are intricate business alerts that entrepreneurs should not neglect and seek ASAP the assistance of professional legal advisors and consultants to confront them successfully.
Businesses should form an effective business continuity plan with strategies that target the business's continuation.
Professional legal assistance is needed when forming the business continuity plan to safeguard that the business fully complies with the legislative framework, i.e.:
•compliance of the industry with its obligations before governmental authorities
•business relationships of company's affairs with employees, clients, suppliers, shareholders, and stakeholders.
Business Insurance Coverage
In today's business environment, many companies have business insurance coverage plans.
Consequently, the company's legal advisors should thoroughly examine the insurance policies and coverages to identify if compensations for the COVID - 19 pandemic exist.
It is noteworthy to mention that all insurance contacts are subject to high variations when coverage policies and exemptions are concerned. Chambersfield Economides Kranos lawyers can evaluate your business insurance contract and identify possible coverages according to the contractual and related pandemic litigation, as well as determine the coverage percentage of the cause.
Almost all the governments of the world, during the pandemic outbreak, issued supportive measures and degrees to safeguard business operations, social welfare and prevent mass layoffs.
Moreover, governments issued a safety and security degree for tackling the pandemic effects and provide a healthy, hazard-free workplace environment to all employees.
Despite the government's efforts, many people have wrongly or unfairly being dismissed from their employment. Unfortunately, many of them were unaware of legislative and/or regulatory provisions aiming to safeguard their legal rights.
An unlawful employment dismissal depends on the individual situation and may violate the Termination of Employment Law, Violation of Constitutional Human Rights, or Breach of Employment Contract.
Subsequently, before proceeding with employment termination, businesses should consult their legal advisors to determine if there is a violation of employment rights.
Privacy and Security
There are many questions concerning network privacy and security on remote work, especially today that social distancing is promoted as a prevention measure of Covid-19 pandemic spread.
Due to pandemic measures, "business as usual" is disrupted, and the vast majority of companies proceeded with the introduction of remote work to maintain their sustainability.
At the same time, the implementation of "working from home" raised safety questions to companies regarding:
•The disclosure of sensitive data processed or saved in the company's systems,
•Possible unauthorized access or disclosure of data,
•Unsecured Networks that are vulnerable to viruses, malware, etc.
Consequently, companies, to overcome those problems, should assess their policies:
•of remote access in their systems and develop regular risk checks,
•adopt continuous monitor techniques,
•and enhance employees' security access points by implementing double system authentication techniques and encryptions.
Besides, special attention should be given to employees' training and system defense mechanisms to prevent spear phishing, whaling, smishing, and vishing that flourish during a crisis.
Concurrently, companies should define their policies for gathering and receiving health-related information about their visitors, employees, and third parties to be fully compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
The needs of each company vary according to the nature of the business operations and activities. For privacy matters and GDPR compliance, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of the professional lawyers of Chambersfield Economides Kranos.
It is noteworthy to mention that companies that do not implement the appropriate measures may face sudden threats and consequences.
The coronavirus pandemic has undeniably affected the world economy and created massive negative impacts on all commercial contacts and activities. Countless trade contracts were affected, and many business transactions were canceled or postponed.
Also, concerning contractual relationships, the pandemic has raised reasonable questions of who will be accountable and bear the financial losses of not meeting the contract obligations.
Additionally, a wise confrontation should be the implementation of crisis management strategies that will help in minimizing the effects of the outbreak i.e.
•Negotiation attempts will involve parties with suggestions that may solve the problem.
•Implementation of relief strategies
•Formation of a Contingency plan
•Legal risk analysis
•Revision of contract clauses
•Governing law, etc.
It is also highly recommended for overcoming contractual relationship vulnerability to seek the consultation of Chambersfield Economides Kranos, legal and business consultants.
The firm's legal consultants can help form a crisis management plan, which will contain actions that will safeguard your firm's contractual relationships and business operations.
Many companies and individuals have experienced financial distress for their earnings, cash flow, and loans after the pandemic outburst.
Also, many companies had to appeal for restructuring their contracts and agreements to cope with the pandemic consequences and continue their business operations.
The answer to business sustainability does not lie only with loan restructuring but with overall business restructuring due to Covid-19 unpredictable era effects.
Thereupon, for a successful restructuring of your business, entrepreneurs should appoint legal experts that will perform a thorough analysis of the company's current situation and propose sustainable solutions.
Merges and Acquisitions
As previously stated, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on all business activities, not only in nearly every sector of the economy but also on Mergers and Acquisitions transactions.
Many M&A transactions after the outbreak were affected in terms of:
•Financial Risk – due to future uncertainties on the behavior of the economy, in M&A transactions, entrepreneurs have shown hesitation on whether they will proceed with the transaction, cancel, or postpone it.
•Value – The conditions of the international market have changed dramatically.
Nowadays, we observe spontaneous economic tendencies. Therefore, entrepreneurs are in the process of re-evaluating M&A pricing and risks before reaching a decision. Also, in M&A re-evaluation, a great emphasis is being given on financial due diligence indicators, i.e., capital funding, continuity business plans, risk management, etc.
•Sustainability – entrepreneurs evaluate possible business sustainability scenarios before proceeding with the M & A transaction.
Additionally, entrepreneurs attempt to identify policies that will ensure the successful continuation of their business operations and mitigate the risks of market fluctuations.
With that said, today's entrepreneurs are in more need of cooperation with lawyers that have great experience in cross-border transactions, M & A, and crisis management.
Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual Property Rights have been highlighted even more during the pandemic era.
Subsequently, businesses should find "out-of-the-box" solutions to cope with the pandemic's effects, which will sustain their operations and create new opportunities.
Several examples demonstrate this thinking in e-commerce, IT, pharmaceutical, etc.
For example, many IT companies seized the opportunity of social distancing and lockdowns and focused on technological developments. It is a fact that the Research and Development department of Pharmaceutical companies got into the fight for developing vaccinations of immunity towards the coronavirus.
All new developments need to be assessed by the governmental authorities, register their IP rights, and acquire the license before entering the market.
The measures of the governmental authorities, as expected, created delays in the registration process of copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
Therefore, to avoid further procedure delays, it is highly recommended for your IP application and procedure be handled by experienced and accredited law firms. The professional IP lawyers can provide the appropriate advice during the process, on a national and international level, and overcome any possible delays during the application stage.
Nowadays, e-commerce is deemed to be the leader of the retail industry. Movement restrictions, lockdowns, and social distancing were the main reasons that contribute to the e-commerce booming induced. As expected, companies that adapted fast to consumer behavior changes thrived.
It is undeniable when it comes to e-commerce, it is of utmost importance to be sure that your online business is compliant with the relevant regulatory and legislative framework.
Several laws pertain specifically and related to online businesses, including but not limited to intellectual property rights (trademarks, copyrights, etc.), privacy policies, terms of service, data protection, and consumer rights.
Therefore, for safeguarding your online business operations, it is recommended to search legal consultants' advice and seek their assistance with all legal aspects related to online businesses' formation and function.