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The Covid-19 pandemic quickly instilled feelings of bewilderment and all-consuming fear for what would lay ahead. Aside from the health of our people, the health of the economy within which we operate became of great concern. As a law firm leader, my concern extended to issues of cash management, liquidity and to my strategy in respect of avoiding the possibility of a business downturn. Read more  ...

Work From Home has become the trend of the present work environment, faster than expected. This new work arrangement allows employees, traditionally expected to work out of the employer’s office, to perform their job duties from home or other remote location. A Work From Home Policy is a formal document which regulates the terms of remote work. It provides guidelines defining the responsibilities and expectations of both employer and employee. It is sound practice for employers to develop a Work From Home Policy that can help in navigating the nuances of remote work and mitigating risks inherent in offsite access to the work environment. The following are the ten key elements of an effective Work From Home Policy: 1. Scope The scope of the Policy defines the intent and purpose of remote working, as well as the conditions for remote working. 2. Eligibility Some work functions can not be performed remotely. For these and all other cases, the Policy must clearly address the eligibility requirements for work from home, including any circumstances under which employees may be permitted to operate remotely. 3. Attendance, Availability and Dress Code Attendance, conduct and availability expectations of employees must be outlined, including legally compliant working hours and break periods. In an attempt to...

Ghana’s economy is forecasted to shrink by about 5% of GDP in 2020 — this being a baseline scenario impact from the challenges of the pandemic. Businesses are facing a testing time, the like of which many would never have seen before. Owner managed businesses are particularly hard hit in these times as they often do not have cash reserves to carry them through months of potential disruption and forced closure. We are now subject to a threat nobody could have foreseen and thus the Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act, 2020 (Act 1015) is the need of the hour. On 30th April 2020 the President assented to the Corporate Insolvency Bill, 2019 to bring into force a new legal framework for the regulation of insolvency practitioners as well as provide the avenue to help resuscitate temporarily distressed but viable businesses, entities and establishments from liquidation and its ramifications. The new law provides for the timely, efficient and impartial proceedings for insolvent companies and offers restructuring and insolvency solutions including administration, receivership and liquidation. However, it does not cover companies in the financial services industry such as banks and insurance companies which have separate laws covering their restructuring and insolvency proceedings.   Key highlights of...

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a global pandemic, various degrees of disruptions for businesses and their workforce have come into focus. As guidance from the Government rapidly changes, most businesses in Ghana are adjusting to a large proportion of their workforce working remotely, temporary closure of business, modification of operation to reduce Employee workload and working hours and/or time-off as paid leave or unpaid leave as the case may be. In further steering these unchartered waters, key Employer considerations will include the strategies to reduce cost to business and guaranteeing the rights of Employees. Although some businesses may already have crisis management / contingency plans in place in the form of human resources policies on sick leave or remote working for example, adjustments may have to be made to such policies, with this unprecedented set of circumstances. In general terms however, an employment relationship is governed under contract, and where an unforeseen external event (such as the outbreak of a pandemic like COVID-19) occurs, making the contract incapable of performance, the parties may rely on a pre-existing force majeure provision within the contract for the suspension or termination of the employment. Some contracts may go further to include...

The Legal Framework chapter of the Oxford Business Group (OBG) Report looks at in-depth legislative investment framework for Ghana. In her Viewpoint article, our Managing Partner, focuses on some key aspects of Ghana’s current legal climate. The Report: Ghana 2020 is available on all OBG platforms and events. Click here to access the Legal Framework chapter and the Viewpoint in full....

There are a number of contracting arrangements that may be considered for construction and infrastructure projects depending on the scope of works and the services sought. Examples of such procurement and delivery mechanisms include: Design and Build, Design-Build-Operate (DBO), Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), Construction and Management, Operation and Maintenance (OM) Contracts. The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) has approved a set of standard contracting forms for a variety of projects, one of which is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract. These standard contracting arrangements collectively form part of the FIDIC Suite of Contracts’. EPC has more recently become a preferred procurement mechanism for the Government of Ghana, particularly in relation to the Sinohydro Road Projects. In this blog post, we will focus on EPC Contracts and some key provisions, specifically with reference to FIDIC Silver Book 2017 Edition. 1. What is unique about the FIDIC Suite of Contracts? The FIDIC Suite of Contracts comprises of a number of ‘Books’ which reflect a universal standard for a variety of projects. The Suite is presented as a set of General Conditions, with the option for parties to ‘contract out’ of certain standard provisions by drafting Particular Conditions to suit the project as well as the relevant local...

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (“GIPC”), is a Government agency responsible for encouraging investment and economic development and regulating businesses in all sectors of the economy within the legislative framework of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865). It is mandatory for business entities with foreign ownership, permitted pursuant to Act 865 to register with GIPC, and to do so, following the incorporation of the Company in Ghana. It is also required by Act 865, the only law with the mandate to regulate Technology Transfer Agreements (“TTAs”), that a TTA between an entity registered in Ghana (“the transferee”) and a foreign entity (“the transferor”), are registered with the GIPC and in accordance with the Technology Transfer Regulations, 1992 (L.I. 1547).   What are TTAs? TTAs are defined within Act 865 as agreements with an enterprise which have a duration of not less than 18 months, and which involve the following: the assignment, sale and licensing of all forms of industrial property with the exception of trademarks and patents which are not part of the transfer of technology; provision of technical expertise such as feasibility studies, plans, models, guides, basic or detailed engineering designs etc; provision of technical knowledge on installation and operation of...

The much debated Companies Bill 2018, was passed by the Parliament of Ghana on 2nd May 2019 introducing new and amended provisions of the corporate legislative framework in Ghana. The new law seeks to enhance transparency and shareholder engagement and promote a friendly business climate in Ghana. The following summary highlights our ‘top picks’ of the new Act and what we deem of real importance to both the local and international business community. In this Blog post, we will refer to the newly passed Bill as “the Companies Act”.[1]   Creation of the Office of the Registrar of Companies The Companies Act introduces the Office of the Registrar of Companies established to aid the registration and regulation of businesses in Ghana, akin to other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom’s Companies House. The Office of the Registrar will also be responsible for the appointment of company inspectors and will assume the role of official liquidator.   Abolition of the need to file a Constitution The ‘Regulations’ of a Company will now be referred to as the ‘Constitution’ of the Company. Unlike the Companies Code 1963 (Act 179), which required every company to file or register the Company’s Constitution as part of the incorporation process, it is...