COVID-19: Implications for Business

Rightfully labelled as a human tragedy, the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced us to think and act differently. Beyond the human response, now is the time to think about what the consequences may be for your business, and how best you can prepare for those.

Corporate and M&A - View Our Insights

Pulling the trigger to terminate your bid? Make sure you have all the right ammunition

In the wake of the coronavirus, many businesses are now having employees work from home. This raises the question of how contracts can be signed when signatories may be working remotely and may not be able to print documents.

Shareholder meetings in the time of COVID-19: An update

A lot has changed since our last “unhappy bedfellows” alert on shareholder meetings. This note summarises the key takeaways that we have been discussing with clients.

ASX clarifies corporate governance obligations during the COVID-19 outbreak

The ASX has provided welcome guidance on their 31 March compliance update on the obligations of listed entities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our experts outline what ASX has said regarding continuous disclosure, financial reporting and AGMs

Australian Investment Funds – Monitoring COVID-19 Impacts9

COVID-19 will have a significant impact on investment funds and their trustees and manager. While there is uncertainty about how the pandemic will develop, many relevant legal issues can be anticipated and planned for now. Our experts have outlined key considerations for trustees and managers.

Raising capital in the time of corona – ASIC and ASX grant temporary capital raising relief

On 31 March 2020, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”) and the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) announced that they would each grant temporary capital raising relief to facilitate emergency capital raisings for ASX-listed entities.

Competition & consumer law amid the pandemic – Your guide to avoiding viral confusion

Our experts examine the key competition and consumer laws that businesses may encounter during this time, discuss how the ACCC, the Courts and the Government may approach the unfolding situation, and provide suggestions on how to navigate unexpected challenges

Navigating Boards through the impacts of COVID-19

Identifying the key matters to consider will enable Boards to get ahead of the actions they will need to take. In particular, those matters that may be important considering a Board’s role in managing risk and overseeing the strategic direction of the company as a whole.

M&A in an uncertain COVID-19 world

The unprecedented uncertainty and volatility resulting from COVID-19 obviously has significant impacts for M&A transactions – both those currently under negotiation and those signed but yet to complete.

Not business as usual – does COVID-19 trigger an insurance recovery?

The present economic climate is challenging for all businesses. Businesses suffering interruption and financial loss as a result of COVID-19 (including due to supply chain interruptions), may have insurance recoveries available.

The evolution of ASX disclosure in a COVID-19 environment

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, there is unsurprisingly an increased focus on the continuous disclosure obligations of Australian listed entities.

Shareholder meetings and COVID-19: Unhappy bed-fellows

What impact will COVID-19 have on complying with statutory requirements to hold AGMs or EGMs within required timeframes? As expected, the answer is not necessarily straightforward.

Consumer and Health - View Our Insights

COVID-19: Public Health Orders

This table provides an overall summary, followed by a state by state timeline, of the material restrictions on businesses, venues and movement that have been imposed by the Australian, State and Territory Governments in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19: What businesses need to know about the Australian Government’s plan

Companies around Australia are developing contingency plans for the spread of the novel coronavirus. What should they expect in the way of Government action? Our experts bring you what you need to know.

Novel coronavirus: Opportunities for companies in the health sector

A number of governments are considering implementing special measures. Some present companies that produce medical supplies with new opportunities to fast-track delivery of such supplies to virus affected countries.

Contract and Supply Chain - View Our Insights

An update: More practical tips on signing contracts electronically

Our experts set out further tips on how to navigate execution requirements for deeds and section 127 of the Corporations Act.

Lock-down your rights: practical tips for administering construction contracts during COVID-19

IWhere does current uncertainty leave bidders in public control transactions? Our experts outline key statutory and contractual rights that bidders need to be aware of, in the event they may need to walk away.

COVID-19: Practical tips on how to sign contracts electronically

In this short update, we summarise how this risk may be allocated under construction contracts and provide some practical tips on the administration of those construction contracts in light of the impact of COVID-19.

Impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on Chinese commodity sale contracts

The impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on international commodity contracts with Chinese buyers raises challenging and important questions of whether it constitutes ground for buyers to be relieved from their performance and the procedure for claiming such relief.

Out of the ‘Safe Harbour’ and into the ‘Dry Dock’

As part of its economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, yesterday the Government passed a ‘temporary safe harbour’ insolvency measure. This alert explains the key considerations for directors.

Finance and Insolvency - View Our Insights

What Financial Sponsors need to know about the COVID-19 changes to Australia’s Foreign Investment Laws

On 29 March 2020, the Australian Treasurer announced significant, but temporary, changes to the foreign investment approval regime in Australia, reducing the monetary threshold for all foreign investment in Australia to zero and extending the processing times for applications.

COVID-19 Second Stimulus Package announced

Today, the Government has announced a range of initiatives as part of their economic response to the Coronavirus. Legislation will be considered, and we anticipate this will be passed on Monday 23 March 2020, or shortly after.

Impact of coronavirus on finance transactions

The impact of COVID-19 on financing transactions has come into focus given the effect of the virus on the world’s economy. Our experts look at certain key aspects of existing and future finance transactions under which we are discussing with clients.

Out of the ‘Safe Harbour’ and into the ‘Dry Dock’

As part of its economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, yesterday the Government passed a ‘temporary safe harbour’ insolvency measure. This alert explains the key considerations for directors.

Labour and Employment - View Our Insights

Help is coming: Fair Work amendments announced

The Federal Government is introducing urgent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), to deliver JobKeeper benefits by way of wage subsidies and increased employment flexibility, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: Variation of modern awards at the initiative of the Fair Work Commission

The Fair Work Commission has proposed to vary 103 modern awards by inserting a new Schedule: Schedule X – Additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Schedule introduces two measures - unpaid pandemic leave, and annual leave at half pay. Our experts unpack the proposed changes and what they might mean for you.

COVID-19 - Issues from an Australian employment law perspective

There will be a fine balance to be struck over the coming period as workplaces are forced to adjust to external forces on an unprecedented scale at an unprecedented speed. Our experts update the top employment related legal implications.

COVID-19 Guidance – health and safety aspects of the new home workplace

One of the biggest questions many businesses are now facing in the constantly changing COVID-19 environment is how to effectively manage a workforce that’s wholly or partly working away from the office? Our experts bring you what you need to consider in addressing the challenge and to meet occupational safety and health duties.

Data and Technology - View Our Insights

Stopping the outbreak of coronavirus trade marks

While some were frantically stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitiser when the news of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 broke, others were busy trying to capitalise on the outbreak. As of Monday 23 March 2020, over 20 applications have been filed by opportunistic applicants to register trade marks containing “COVID” or “CORONAVIRUS” in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Digitally safe while socially distant – the importance of cyber-security awareness in the COVID-19 climate

It is important that both employers and employees maintain awareness of cyber-security risks while adapting to and operating in the home workplace environment. Our experts bring you what you need to know amidst the uncertainty surrounding the standard of care the management and private and confidential client information.

Tax - View Our Insights

JobKeeper: a step forward in the detail but still much to resolve

the JobKeeper program legislation, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Bill 2020, was introduced into the Australian Federal Parliament. The key question that is being asked is “am I eligible?”, noting that this is a threshold issue for the survival of many businesses.

COVID-19 Federal and States Government Stimulus Measure

As part of the economic stimulus response to COVID-19, the State and Federal governments, and regulators, have announced a number of measures. To help you stay on top of these announcements, the KWM Tax Team has prepared the following summary table. This table is being progressively updated as further measures are introduced and detailed.

Real Estate - View Our Insights

Planning and development during COVID-19 – States respond with emergency planning legislation and changes to planning controls

Emergency legislative changes have been passed through the Queensland and New South Wales Parliaments giving new planning powers in response to physical distancing and other COVID-19 related requirements. The other states either have or are set to follow suit. Our experts have outlined the legislative requirements for each state

Mandatory Code of Conduct for commercial leases: what does it mean for you?

Our experts set out the changes to existing commercial leasing arrangements required by the Code, and considers the implications and opportunities for landlords and tenants.

Considerations for landlords, tenants and financiers

Our experts have put together an easy to use checklist of things you might like to consider to protect your business.

Emergency measures for commercial leases take shape

Governments and banks are putting in place emergency measures to provide relief for tenants who are struggling to meet their rental obligations and landlords trapped between their mortgage obligations to financiers, ongoing rates and property taxes and reduced income streams from tenants.

Foreign Investment - View Our Insights

COVID-19 and foreign investment into Australia - what you need to know

The Australian Treasurer has announced temporary changes to foreign investment in Australia, reducing the monetary threshold which applies to foreign investment in Australia to $0. Our experts unpack the changes and what they mean for foreign investors.

Emergency measures for commercial leases take shape

Governments and banks are putting in place emergency measures to provide relief for tenants who are struggling to meet their rental obligations and landlords trapped between their mortgage obligations to financiers, ongoing rates and property taxes and reduced income streams from tenants.

To speak with our experts, contact Renae Lattey

COVID-19 Weekly Wrap-Up

From the substantial stimulus measures announced to the impact of COVID-19 on foreign investment in Australia. This is what we have covered this week.

KWM's response to COVID-19

To ensure we continue to provide high levels of service to our clients during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have set out a business continuity plan.

Checklist: Issues for business

Our experts have highlighted key considerations to help you navigate the challenges caused by the spread of COVID-19.


Resources for NFPs and social enterprises

Dealing with COVID-19 challenges 

Partner Justin McDonnell shares advice on how to navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19. Watch now >

NFP relief table

Our experts provide an overview of guidance for NFPs and social enterprises. Learn more >

Digitally safe while socially distant 

Our experts discuss the importance of cyber-security awareness in the COVID-19 climate. Learn more >

Health and safety aspects of the new home workplace

Our experts how to manage work health and safety when your workforce is working away from the organisation's premises. Learn more >

Managing your contractual arrangements in the midst of COVID-19

It's an important time to test for vulnerabilities in your organisation’s contractual arrangements and devise a way forward. Our experts are here to help. Learn more >

Governance changes for CATSI Act organisations

Companies registered under the CATSI Act have been granted specific relief to help them manage some issues brought about by the spread of COVID-19. Learn more >

COVID-19 and Managing Employees

KWM Partner Philip Willox provides practical guidance on managing employees. Learn more >

Insurance and not-for-profits

Our experts set out some of the matters you might like to consider and some steps you may need to take where a loss has been suffered. Learn more >

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