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A Crude-Awakening: The COVID-19 Oil Price War
15 April 2020 Oil & Gas

A Crude-Awakening: The COVID-19 Oil Price War

A drop in global demand as the world came to grips with the extent of the COVID-19 virus, coupled with a price war between two oil producing giants, Saudi Arabia and Russia, has caused oil prices to plummet. By 8 March 2020, oil prices had fallen by 30% sending shock waves through already spooked financial markets.

Ways in which to apply for petroleum exploration and production permits or rights and consultation with interested and affected parties regarding acceptance of applications
15 April 2020 Oil & Gas

Ways in which to apply for petroleum exploration and production permits or rights and consultation with interested and affected parties regarding acceptance of applications

In part three in our series of articles on the draft Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill, 2019 (the Petroleum Bill) we unpack certain provisions set out in chapter 4 of the Petroleum Bill, specifically sections 26 to 28. Chapter 4 contains what is referred to under the Petroleum Bill as “Petroleum Regulations” and covers various aspects of the upstream petroleum sector, including provisions on the application for permits or rights, the processing of applications for permits or rights and consultation with interested and affected parties.

COVID-19 - What the State is doing for you
14 April 2020 Business Rescue, Restructuring & Insolvency

COVID-19 - What the State is doing for you

Since the onset of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) restrictions, the State has been rolling out measures to alleviate the negative effects of these restrictions.

Business Rescue 101 – An introduction - Part 1
14 April 2020 Dispute Resolution

Business Rescue 101 – An introduction - Part 1

The detrimental impact of COVID-19 has caused many businesses in South Africa to suffer financial distress. Thankfully, Chapter 6 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 dealing with business rescue provides relief to businesses during these challenging and testing times.

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No business rescue option for financially distressed foreign and external companies
8 April 2020 Dispute Resolution

No business rescue option for financially distressed foreign and external companies

The Companies Act 71 of 2008 (as amended) (Companies Act) introduced an option, other than liquidation, for companies that are financially distressed. This option is ‘business rescue’ and it provides for the temporary supervision of a financially distressed company’s affairs by a business rescue practitioner, and gives the company breathing space by allowing a temporary moratorium (suspension) on claims against the company. During business rescue the company is given an opportunity to restructure its affairs (including liabilities) with the hope that it can turn its business around and operate from a solvent position.

Is it time for a re-boot of the South African discovery process?
8 April 2020 Dispute Resolution

Is it time for a re-boot of the South African discovery process?

There is much to be learnt from the United States of America when it comes to the discovery process. Not only does the US Federal Court system make use of the deposition process, but they have adopted e-Discovery in their Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which has revolutionised the assessment and processing of mass amounts of data for evidentiary purposes at trial.

Lockdown: Companies beware of ‘electronic signatures’ whilst employees work remotely
8 April 2020 Corporate & Commercial

Lockdown: Companies beware of ‘electronic signatures’ whilst employees work remotely

The universal digitisation of society has completely transformed the way we do business today. Business may be conducted with the touch of a single button and contracts may be signed and entered into electronically. It is often far more convenient to sign a document electronically, opposed to having to print a document, sign it and initial each page, and scan it back in before sending it off. Particularly during the next few weeks of lockdown being implemented within South Africa, persons may not have access to printers and scanners and may often find themselves signing documents electronically whilst working from home.

Claiming “COVID-19 made me do it” simply isn’t good enough when deciding to defer or cancel the declaration or payment of a dividend
8 April 2020 Corporate & Commercial

Claiming “COVID-19 made me do it” simply isn’t good enough when deciding to defer or cancel the declaration or payment of a dividend

The national lock-down and the international effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have wreaked havoc on companies’ cash flows and have in many cases made it very difficult to predict their short to medium term liquidity position with any degree of confidence. Many JSE-listed companies have therefore been desperately scrambling to cancel or defer their payment obligations in respect of dividends already declared or are hurriedly devising strategies to avoid declaring dividends at all. These companies, while appearing to have good commercial reasons for doing so, should ensure that their actions are lawful and that they do not expose themselves to legal risk.

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California Uber driver ruled to be an employee
19 June 2015 Employment

California Uber driver ruled to be an employee

The California Labor Commission recently ruled that an Uber driver, Barbara Ann Berwick, was indeed an employee and not an independent contractor. This ruling was reached against the backdrop of a class action suit against Uber (and its competitor Lyft) by drivers who want to be classified as employees and not as independent contractors.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted as legal counsel for Busamed in relation to debt funding of two private hospitals
11 June 2015 Finance & Banking

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted as legal counsel for Busamed in relation to debt funding of two private hospitals

Mashudu Junior Mphafudi, and Preshan Singh-Dhulam, directors in the Finance and Banking practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, acted as legal counsel to Busamed in relation to the debt funding provided by Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and FutureGrowth Asset Management, for both the Busamed Paardevlie Private Hospital (100 bed facility) and the Busamed Modderforntein Private Hospital (170 Acute Facility and 50 beds Sub-Acute facility).

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