“This crisis has shown there is plenty of scope for law firms to work more efficiently”

Founding partner of law firm Bragard, Jean Jacques Bragard, gives us his insight on the different measures Uruguay has taken since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

Founding partner of law firm Bragard, Jean Jacques Bragard, gives us his insight on the different measures Uruguay has taken since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.


Leaders League. How well do you think your government is reacting to the Covid-19 virus?

 

Jean Jacques Bragard. Very well. They acted quickly, transparently and with clear leadership. There was daily communication through press conferences clearly conveying the situation and emergency health measures were adopted at the very begining. 

 

Likewise, a specific app was introduced allowing the government to remain close to citizens and thus provide the necessary health provisions. 

 

What are the main measures the government has implemented to help entrepreneurs?

 

Deferred tax payment due dates for small and medium companies… special unemployment insurance in order to allow part time work while the state partially covers salaries (until 31th May)… soft loans from the state bank and state agencies.

 

And to assist the more vulnerable members of the population?

 

A bond was granted to make purchasing basic food products possible for the most vulnerable sections of society. The credit amount available under the Uruguay Social Cards scheme, that benefits 87,000 households, was doubled. The number of shelters available for homeless people over 65 was increased. A coronavirus fund was created to help with social and health aspects was made available to all the population, financed with a percentage of higher public salaries, among others. A contingency center was built to serve vulnerable people. Grants and subsidies for small tax payers covering a period of two months benefitted 10,000 people.

 

Which industries or sectors are suffering the most? And which ones do you think have been handed an opportunity by the current situation?

 

Those suffering and tourism, hotels, transport, travel agencies, restaurantes, sport & entretainment and construction. The ones with an opportunity are online business, delivery, E-commerce and software.

 

Is there any measures that banks are taking concerning credit in Uruguay? Is there anything we can do at bank level or with bank regulation to help the country get through this difficult period?  

 

The Central Bank has established some interim measures. The most relevant are: a) reduction of the legal reserve required from credit institutions; b) reduction of capital requirements concerning credit risk; c) extension of terms for payment of credit to up to 180 days. Private banks and state banks are deferring the terms of payment with the agreement of clients.

 

In two sentences, what this sui generis crisis has taught you

 

There was plenty space to gain in efficiency in the way law firms work. The industry has discovered new ways of working and commuting. 

 

Read the full Special Report: Crisis Management: Challenges & Solutions

CEOs, CFOs, HR managers, Heads of public institutions... the coronavirus pandemic has forced boardrooms to go into crisis-management mode. Will the lockdown be swift and decisive, or should we expect the worst? Corporate leaders are mobilizing their human and financial capital in an effort to steer their companies through the storm.
Summary “Replace the face-to-face relationships with content distribution platforms that put them at the forefront of their service cate "Public consultation is not a hindrance but a question of safety" ‘‘Fintechs provide customers with an opportunity to obtain credit at this difficult time” "We are not in a situation of credit-access disruption" “Covid-19 Is affecting almost all sectors of the Peruvian economy” “It will take two to three years for the oil and gas industry to recover’’ "The state can do a lot, but it’s not Santa Claus" “I expect radical changes in the delivery of legal services in the aftermath of Covid-19’’ The Seven Key Elements of Effective Leadership in a Crisis

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