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Clarification provided on a number of points in relation to the Part A1 Moratorium

As outlined in our previous briefing note on the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, a new restructuring tool was introduced in June 2020 in the form of the Part A1 free-standing moratorium (the "Moratorium"). The Moratorium was introduced with the intention of providing companies in financial distress breathing space to allow them to explore restructuring options whilst being protected from the majority of creditor action, similar to the protection afforded to a company in administration. A feature of the Moratorium is the appointment of an independent monitor.

The Environment Act 2021 and the real estate sector

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 was a landmark piece of legislation for the real estate sector, establishing legal responsibility for contamination and pollution control for land, air and water, and also regulating waste disposal and statutory nuisances. Our understanding of the threat posed by contamination and climate change has increased significantly in the thirty years that followed, and the long-awaited new Environment Act was finally put onto the statute books in 2021. When it is fully operational, what might the new legislation mean for the UK's real estate industry?

Sanctions Update: UK, US and EU set to impose first round of new sanctions on Russia in response to escalation of Ukrainian crisis, while Germany blocks Nord Stream 2 certification

During the build-up of Russian military forces on the borders of Ukraine over the course of recent months, the UK and other countries have issued firm statements that any further incursion by Russia into Ukraine would result in additional economic sanctions on Russian entities and individuals. Today, following Russia's recognition of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine as independent (and the corresponding movement of Russian forces into these regions), a number of new sanctions and other restrictions have been imposed – with further measures likely to follow depending on Russia's actions over the coming days and weeks.

Government publishes next steps in review of UK funds regime

For nearly two years the government has been conducting a review of the UK funds regime (the Review) with the aim of making the UK a more attractive location to set up, manage and administer funds and to support a wider range of more efficient investments better suited to investor needs. This review had already yielded some tangible results, in particular the recent introduction of the Long-Term Asset Fund (LTAF) and the development of the new tax regime for qualifying asset holding companies (QAHCs) which is due to come into force in April.

Clear language triumphs: the Court of Appeal's decision in ABN Amro Bank N.V. v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc [2021] EWCA Civ 1789

On 2 December 2021, the Court of Appeal confirmed that: (i) clear wording in an insurance policy could not be overridden by countervailing factors in the factual background; and (ii) a claim could not be estopped where the insurance policy expressly precluded the party claiming estoppel from avoiding liability in the relevant circumstances. The judgment reinforces that, where there is clear and unambiguous contractual wording, the Court will apply it.

Tipping the balance: the Government's proposals on mixed-use buildings could have a significant impact on property owners and commercial tenants

In amongst the blizzard of press releases and policy documents emanating from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities since the New Year is a consultation called "Reforming the leasehold and commonhold systems in England and Wales". It is important for the commercial real estate sector because it contains new proposals which could tip the balance in mixed use buildings between residential leaseholders on one hand and freeholders and commercial leaseholders on the other hand.

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