On 7 October, Espaitec organised a new online workshop as part of the Recicla’t Espaitec series of conferences. This is an initiative that responds to the challenges presently faced by companies. This workshop was entitled “Online Workshop of Refinancing and Restructuring Strategies in Times of Crisis”, and focused on the new reality of labour law and commercial law as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This taller workshop was given by professionals from the prestigious Gómez Acebo & Pombo Law office. Juan Antonio de Lanzas, Head of the Labour Area at GA-P Valencia, took part in the initial session part. The next participants were Alicia Olaso, a senior lawyer in the Commercial area and Head of Financing at GA-P Valencia , and Francisco Fita, a Managing Partner from the GA-P Valencia office.

The session started with Juan Antonio de Lanzas, who went through what is topical and structural in the labour law with the latest updates set out in the New Law on Layoffs (Spanish Royal Decree Law 30/2020). This new law, which has been recently extended to 31 January 2021, limits dismissals and terminations of workers’ contracts by companies because they limited to, or cannot, do their jobs for force majeure due to today’s health crisis in this case.

He also stressed, as practical examples, the legal sentences recently made about causes related to being dismissed from work. Juan Antonio de Lanzas highlighted that “dismissal is acceptable provided that the cause justifying it is not linked with those causes related to the present circumstances of Layoffs, but to a structural situation like pre-existing economic loss or loss of customers”.

Negotiation capacity as a key factor in refinancing

During the second part of the session, Alicia Olaso and Francisco Fita addressed the new financing and refinancing processes that companies are following from the perspective that they need to make decisions to seek refinancing for their debts to overcome sporadic liquidity problems. The main points were the following:

  • Communication of starting negotiations with creditors
  • Refinancing agreements and judicial homologation
  • Loans unionised in refinancing agreements
  • Guarantees provided among sister companies

The key factor that both the above participants stressed was the need for companies’ capacitation in different kinds of refinancing agreements with financial creditors to reach favourable agreements, and to diagnose the state of the difficulties that they face so soon, to finely tune what type of restructuring or refinancing agreement is the most worthwhile for their debts according to their implications and effects.