International disputes firm Hausfeld has said it will commit up to £1m of its lawyers’ time to help businesses impacted by coronavirus, spending a maximum of £50,000 on each case.
From today, the firm invites companies who could not otherwise afford its legal fees to seek advice about business disruption arising from the pandemic. Investigations will be done on a non-recourse basis, meaning claimants will not have to pay the investigation costs in ‘virtually all scenarios’.
To apply, businesses must have incurred losses as a result of the actions of any contractual counterparty that may have failed to comply with its contractual obligations in the wake of the pandemic. Claims must be meritorious and need to be valued in the hundreds of thousands of pounds at least.
London managing partner and Hausfeld’s vice chair Anthony Maton said: ‘We already see how the coronavirus places severe strain on commercial relationships: performance is not forthcoming or delayed and contracts are breached. With an interrupted supply chain, businesses are impacted – some irreparably so, leading to insolvency. We were looking for a practical and thoughtful way of helping affected businesses.’
Commercial disputes partner John McElroy added: ‘ During a quick initial check, we will consider the viability and merits of any claim. If we believe the claim is worth pursuing, Hausfeld will commit a pre-agreed part of the commitment – with a maximum of £50,000 per case – to advise and investigate how we can best assist the client to resolve the dispute.’
*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.