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            The Impact of COVID-19 within the Real Estate Sector – what we know so far

            As we are all aware the impact of COVID-19 has had far reaching impacts on the global economy and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We are very aware of the struggles and concerns of our real estate sector clients at this time.

            Date: 19/03/2020

            For the real estate sector there has been some nuanced differences in the issues some countries have faced, the domino effect has assisted us to analyse those areas that are being most impacted and the mitigating solutions that can be put in place to try and limit the damage to our businesses. We are comparing and contrasting the measures that our colleagues are seeing in their jurisdictions and this enables us to offer some comfort as to what is likely to be seen from government next. We also have experts across our employment, banking, insurance, tax, restructuring, property and litigation teams on hand.

            As one would expect, retail and hospitality are amongst the hardest hit and has seen sharp declines in excess of 60% in some areas in just a matter of weeks. Commercial leases and agreements have been one of the biggest areas of consideration, and we see from the governments £330bn economic stimulus package that it is an area they are seriously addressing – both for SMEs and the big brands. There will be and there has be more to come. Not only will there be the inevitable slowdown in transactions but we are very conscious of your ongoing operational needs. 

            We can however look to consider some of the positive elements that may evolve during this crisis from a business perspective, the development of new technologies to enable more effective remote working capabilities. For instance, the increased adoption and use of drones & VR for surveying. LawTech is also expected to see increased development too with the wider use of e-signatures as well as the advancement of document analysis capabilities of AI to save clients time and money. We will keep you updated on these developments.

            The situation is changing rapidly, as is government advise. We are listening to what you tell us is happening in the market and within your businesses. Here at DWF we have an international group of real estate experts who are both acting to ensure we can deliver not only your safety but the safety of your business. We are committed to finding the right solutions for our clients across a whole spectrum of services. We have created a panel of leading experts to ensure we are available to assist in your navigation through this pandemic, please feel free to contact us in respect of the transactional and operational issues that you are facing. We are here to help and we are in this together.

            Related people

            Melanie Williams

            • Partner // Head of Real Estate Sector // Head of Hospitality Group

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