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Whose team are you on?
UK - Law Gazette
As the Covid-19 epidemic rages, law firms have embraced a plethora of online tools to keep their businesses going and identified the tech which offers genuine life support.

What are the technologies and behaviours that will roll legal services forward into the post-Covid ‘new normal’?

Covid-19 has forced law firms to accelerate digitisation and tech adoption and move their businesses online at short notice. And lawyers, who are regularly described as slow adopters when it comes to technology, have responded better than expected.

Lights-on technology has moved from an invisible utility to front of house. For this article I sought a range of perspectives on the technology that is holding firms together, and I heard from law firm leaders, IT/operations specialists and partners. What has changed? What is working, what are the challenges and what is superfluous? As tech budgets across professional services are forecast to fall, what tech investments are under review? What lessons learned during lockdown will firms apply when lockdown is lifted and lawyers move into yet another new normal?
Law Gazette

Uncertain times ahead for rents
South Africa - Property360
Even if the rental property market boomed once the national lockdown was lifted landlords would not be reaping financial rewards, writes Bonny Fourie.

Both tenants and landlords have been suffering with reduced – or even lack of – earnings over the past few weeks, and the market itself has almost come to a standstill.

Rent collection has deteriorated as many tenants lose their income and this has been compounded by the fact that tenants have not been permitted to move – apart from the one-month grace period announced last week. This means they face rising rental debt, says Michelle Dickens, managing director of TPN.

Many landlords have offered a reduction of rent at a percentage equivalent to the loss of earning or a deferment of the rent and, in some cases used tenants’ deposits for rent. “The challenge post lockdown, when tenants are back to work, will be the collection of the additional monthly instalments of the deferred rent or deposit repayment because tenants will have to pay the usual rent plus these catch-up payments.”

Pretoria Registrar's Circular 06 of 2020
South Africa - Gauteng Attorneys Association

In line with level with level 4 covid-19 lockdown regulations. The deeds office is now opened and a phased approach will be followed in settling back into normal business. This necessitated departure from normal procedures and new procedures set out below will be followed. The aim is to comply with covid-19 prescribed regulations.

The Conveyancers and the deeds office employees are urged to be patient and understanding in these trying times.

It is to outline the Occupational Health and Safety obligations of Deeds Office: Pretoria in taking precautionary measures to protect the workplace, employees, public and clients from the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19.

Pretoria Deeds Office will not be operating with full complement of staff members in the office.

Homeowner sentiment
South Africa - Absa
Conclusion and outlook
The overall result and results of the sub-indices all indicate that sentiment in the market tends towards reduced activity – with fewer respondents considering it an appropriate time to buy, invest or sell property. A negative and uncertain economic environment was the most featured reason for the sentiment, with COVID-19 mentioned speci?cally by many of the respondents.

An important feature of the results to the HSI for Q1 2020 indicates that many respondents still believe that property can play an important role in helping them weather the current uncertain economic environment as it unfolds – be it respondents indicating that it is an appropriate time to buy / invest or that it is a bad time to sell due to a negative economic outlook. It is important to note that a driver of these sentiments hinge on property’s ability to maintain value during this time, meaning that should there be signs of property’s inability to maintain value, we could see a massive reduction in overall sentiment about the property industry.

We expect COVID-19 related damage to our GDP to be large and while South Africa’s early and purposeful containment efforts, together with a relatively young population provides us some advantages, a high proportion of our population remains impoverished, the incidence of tuberculosis and HIV are high and a high proportion of our population has scant access to good hygiene infrastructure and quality healthcare.
Absa Homeowner Sentiment Index Q1-2020

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