Cyber security Q&A
UK - SRA
The coronavirus situation is causing difficult business conditions and uncertainty for many law firms and solicitors.
The Law Society has advised that unless you are part of the justice system and therefore classed as a key worker, you should be doing all you can to close your office and work from home. That means an unprecedented number of solicitors and staff will be working from home and providing their services digitally, some having never done so before.
This will present many with new cyber security challenges. Below we set out our view how the cybercrime risk is affected by the requirements of social distancing, and of what you can do to protect yourself and your firm.
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Real estate, construction asks to be opened up at Level 4
South Africa - Property360
About 70-80% of the real estate industry faces disaster if trading remains paused - part of a dire situation its members find themselves in after a month of the anti-Covid19 national lockdown. About 70-80% of the real estate industry faces disaster if trading remains paused – part of a dire situation its members find themselves in after a month of the anti-Covid19 national lockdown.
Just how badly the industry is suffering is contained in submissions made by industry heads and the newly-formed National Property Practitioners Council (NPPC), to motivate reopening. Comments were called for by a government task team after having released a draft Schedule of Services as part of the Covid-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy, to try to re-stimulate the economy.
The challenge for SME law firms in the Covid-19 era
UK - LawGazette
In March the government announced the grandly-titled Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). It is supposedly a £5m government backed loan interest free for 12 months. The stated intention behind the scheme is to make government backed loans to SME businesses to help see them through the present world crisis.
Subsequently, the government announced revisions to CBILS: (a) supposedly to address core deficiencies in its formulation; and (b) to expand the scheme to larger businesses.
Unfortunately, as things stand today, CBILS has been a dismal failure. The results speak for themselves. A relatively low percentage of SME businesses have even bothered applying, an even smaller number have been accepted, and it will be interesting to see what take-up there is from the larger businesses that are now included in the scheme. To date, barely £1.1bn has been lent. That may sound a substantial figure but in truth it is a meagre 0.3% of the total amount of money supposedly available. Contrast this with the US where their equivalent SME loan scheme (called the 'Paycheck Protection Programme') has been so successful it has already lent all the money available - about USD 350bn - or with Switzerland where by 6 April USD 15bn had already been lent.