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Conveyancing hit hardest by COVID-19
UK - Legalfutures
Common sense might tell you that being in the middle of a pandemic, being restricted to your own home and most businesses being closed would result in a big drop in levels of business for the legal industry.

After all, as of 21st May 2020, 16% of the courts and tribunals in England and Wales have been suspended to protect those involved in trials. The Government also advised that anybody moving to a new house delay until after lockdown measures have been lifted, and social distancing measures have made the witnessing requirements for wills difficult to comply with.

The results of our survey, therefore, may surprise you.

Law firms in general see only minor effects
We asked 100 people how various practice areas had been impacted in their practice. They were given the options for Company & Commercial, Conveyancing, Crime, Employment, Family, Immigration, Personal Injury and Wills & Probate. For each practice area, respondents were able to select from 5 options. These are numbered, which means we can then find a weighted average.

Lighting the way - Living with COVID-19
South Africa - Lightstone
The Great Disruption
Like a bat out of hell
What started as a whisper of trouble with a virus in the east grew into a pandemic that shut down the world’s leading economies – in a matter of weeks.

In late January China had reported its third death and confirmed its first human-to-human transmission. Cities were placed under quarantine in Hubei province but the infection rate escalated rapidly within China and to other countries, before the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

By then, an already vulnerable world economy was plunging into recession. Projections are that unemployment in the USA will hit 30%, higher than the 10% recorded in the 2008/9 financial recession and the 25% of the Great Depression of 1929 – and this despite the US economy being in good shape ahead of the pandemic.

At home, the Rand fell by more than 20% in just eight weeks against the US Dollar, Moody’s downgraded SA to junk status and sees our GDP shrinking at least 6,5% in fiscal 2020. Unemployment is climbing rapidly and the media is full of stories of hunger among poor communities and incidents of social unrest.

Taking the scary out of deceased estates
South Africa - Property360
Buying a property after the previous owner has died has advantages and disadvantages.
While the heirs might not be as emotionally attached to the property, and therefore willing to accept a lower offer to hasten the winding up of the estate, the process can be long because of legal hurdles.

Purchasing a deceased estate can sometimes be a lengthy and complicated process, with a few extra challenges along the way. Believing they will get a property at a lower price, however, is why many buyers are willing to embark on this journey. Before going this route, buyers should know what to expect as the process is not the same as in a regular property sale.

Refqah Fataar Ho-Yee, a director at STBB, says the executor of a deceased estate steps into the shoes of the late owner to administer the estate as soon as his letters of executorship are issued by the Master of the High Court. One of the administration steps is to attend to any immovable property.

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