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global adsvocates

Spread of Corona Virus Disease (“COVID-19”) over the past couple of months at the global scale has coerced the governments to enforce certain drastic measures, including but not limited to, limiting the movement of citizens and residents, closure of international borders and suspension of trade to keep a check on further spread of COVID-19. While the said measures remain necessary in the wake of COVID-19, their impact on the economy and contractual obligations would be profound as the global economy comes to a standstill. International Monetary Fund has already hinted that the recession which will follow COVID-19 would be worse than the one that world witnessed in 2008.

In view of such bleak economic landscape, businesses are eagerly looking for legal solutions to either avoid or minimize the impact that non-fulfillment of contractual obligations would have on the health of their businesses and Omani commercial enterprises are no exception. While we look to explore various protections made available to the commercial enterprises against unforeseen situations rendering the performance of obligations either impossible or burdensome, readers are advised to seek legal opinion in respect of their specific situation and challenges.

Civil Transactions Law (Royal Decree 29/2013) (“CTL”) provides protection to the any contracting party where the obligations may either be rendered redundant or suspended, in some circumstances, mainly where:

  1. performance of contractual obligations becomes impossible on account of circumstances which are beyond human control (Force Majeure); or
  2. performance of contractual obligation is not impossible but unduly burdensome to the extent that the obligor faces severe loss through performance of the obligation concerned (Emergency Circumstances).

A requirement common to invocation of either of the foregoing scenarios is that the aggrieved party shall not have contributed to the circumstances which render the performance of an obligation either impossible or burdensome and that the event must be unforeseen.

FORCE MAJEURE:

Article 172 of the CTL lays down the principle of ‘force majeure’ which is a common feature of majority of the commercial contracts. Force majeure, in simple terms, means an unforeseen event which prevents the fulfillment of a contractual obligation. It is pertinent to note that the event must be one which does not exist at the time of conclusion of contract and does not arise, as held by the Supreme Court in Appeal No. 11/2003, out of the negligence or act of the aggrieved party. While Article 172 does not provide for specific instances or situations constitutive of a force majeure event, commercial contracts usually contain an elaborate list of events occurrence of which can be used by a party to either terminate the contract or evade performance of certain contractual obligations directly affected by the force majeure event. What is important to note here is that even where a commercial contract does not contain a force majeure provision, Article 172 would remain applicable by operation of law.

However, where force majeure is defined in a contract then it becomes imperative to discern whether the measures taken as a result of COVID-19 would fall within the set of circumstances listed in the contract and which would constitute force majeure event. A usual definition of force majeure includes references to, inter alia, ‘act of God’ or ‘epidemic/pandemic’ and COVID-19 would be covered under both set of circumstances. However, where a force majeure definition does not refer to an instance which may cover COVID-19, even by reference, or to the measures taken by the government then it would be difficult for the aggrieved party to invoke the application of force majeure on account of non-fulfillment of obligations as the competent court usually defers to the intention of the parties and would not go beyond the term of the contract to include by reference or otherwise such circumstances in the definition of force majeure which were not originally included.

Another important factor to bear in mind before seeking application of force majeure on contractual obligations is to specifically determine the obligations which are affected by a force majeure event. It is pertinent to note that one can only avoid performance of obligations which are rendered redundant by a force majeure event whereas the rest of the responsibilities listed in the contract would remain enforceable.

EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES:

Where the impact of COVID-19 is such that it does not render the performance of a contractual obligation impossible but rather burdensome on account of rescheduling or for any other reason which increases the cost for meeting the contractual obligation to an extent that the obligor faces severe loss through performance of the obligation concerned, then in terms of Article 159 of the CTL, competent court would be inclined to reduce the burden of obligation in manner so that the same becomes reasonable and does not result in undue losses for the aggrieved party. It is important to note that to invoke the protection provided by Article 159, aggrieved party must prove to the satisfaction of the court that the emergency circumstances were not foreseen and have occurred during the currency of the contract as observed by Ministry of Legal Affairs in Fatwa  No. 2/28 of 2018.

However, determination as to whether a contractual obligation has become burdensome or not is a matter of fact and hence, a causal link needs to be established between the unforeseen situation, arising in consequence of measures adopted by the government to tackle COVID-19, and the obligation which stands effected by the unforeseen situation.

CONCLUSION

In the current set of circumstances, it is evident that the measures taken by the government in the wake of COVID-19 have either restricted or made it impossible to perform obligations for certain sectors of the economy and it is only a matter of time that parties would have to either renegotiate the terms of the contracts or invoke dispute resolution mechanism to avoid adverse consequences to the maximum extent. Where the parties choose the latter, Articles 172 and 159 of CTL would inevitably be involved. However, the party seeking refuge in either force majeure or the concept of burdensome obligation must remain wary of the terms of the concluded contract particularly the requirement to put the other party on notice where the performance of obligation becomes impossible or burdensome.

Since the Sultanate is facing the current epidemic as a new challenge, we believe that the current situation will be deeply assessed by the Judicial bodies and authorities through their judgments to be issued in the relevant contractual disputes. Subsequently, such judgments would serve as a resource for comprehending force majeure or emergency circumstances for times to come.

Co-authored by:

Abdulredha Al Lawati,  Partner/Muscat:

Email: Abdulredha.allawati@globaladvocates.net

 

Muhammad Bilal Ramzan, Associate/Muscat

Email: Muhammad.Ramzan@globaladvocates.net

 

Khadija Al Adawi, Trainee/Muscat

Email: Khdija.aladawi@globaladvocates.net

 

20200319 162443 0000

This post is to encourage all OABC member companies to support small businesses during this difficult season.  As we are all aware, business is tough now, and especially tough for newly established businesses, small companies, or those who’ve had to close temporarily.  This is a good time for SME’s to think creatively and find ways to keep going, and when they do…it’s our job to support them.

Would you check out the below ways to shop local and encourage your fellow member companies?

  • Fresco Oman: Order a kid-friendly pizza-making kit, for a fun night at home. Deliveries also available on WhatsApp +968 24989876

  • Mai’s Salads: Get delicious fresh salads delivered daily. Deliveries available on +968 71219479

  • 3rd Street Donuts: Have donuts delivered to friends or employees who are still working (or enjoy some yourself!) Salam gallery: +968 94182674, Al Hail: +968 96311333

  • Bomba Burrito: Open for delivery and takeaway.  Order gift cards for burritos now and use or give them later. Contact Ahmed at +968 9913 7590

  • Al Wadood PRO Services: Consult with an experienced Omani PRO on WhatsApp, phone or email at +968 98292949 or info@alwadoodholdings.com

  • Arabia Experience Institute: Take online Arabic classes in the comfort of your own home. Contact Nasser at +968 9399 9391.

  • Zayr: Purchase a gift card, redeem later for a home-cooked Omani meal or cooking class. Contact Hamed at Info@zayr.om

  • Mumtaz Mahal: North Indian cuisine, 30% discount and delivering up to Qurm on Talabat and Akeed

  • Woodlands: Authentic South Indian Cuisine. Deliveries up to Qurm on Talabat and Akeed.

  • Haagen Dazs: Everyone’s favorite ice cream. Available for a drive-thru, Talabat and Akeed.

  • Shabestan: Majestic, authentic Iranian cuisine available on Talabat.

  • The countdown sports lounge: Stay safe, stay home, and curbside order you next comfort and pick up at the pavement outside the lounge.

Gift cards are a wonderful way to support these businesses now, then give as gifts or enjoy their services later when the situation improves.

Please follow our social media channels to learn about other ways to support businesses during this time. You can find us on FacebookInstagramLinked In and Twitter.

Business as usual will return, and until then, we know the OABC community will practice kindness and patience in support of each other (and excellent hand-washing skills!)

 

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20200325 150158 0000

 

metlife

We at MetLife want you to know we are here for you. We would like to share important information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and provide you an an update on this public health situation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a world pandemic, in light of this recent announcement we want to assure you that we are here to support our customers and continue servicing our members in a timely manner.

Information about your Policy

Medical
We are currently not applying the epidemic or pandemic exclusion for treatment associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are currently covering diagnostic testing, healthcare services, and admission leading up to the diagnosis of COVID-19 and for care following the diagnosis of COVID-19 per the policy terms, conditions, and limits. Should there be any change to our current position or based on regulator guidance or otherwise, we will update you at that time.

Life and Disability
With regards to the declaration of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) as a pandemic by the World Health
Organization (WHO), we want to inform you that our group life, accident, and disability policies do not
contain exclusions for pandemic events and therefore death and or disabilities as a result of Coronavirus are covered under the general terms and conditions of the policy.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQ

What is the Coronavirus?
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19.

What is COVID-19?
As per the WHO COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered Coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The most common symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

1.Fever

2. Dry Cough

3. Tiredness

4. Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing (in severe cases)

People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms of
Coronavirus (COVID-19) may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Useful information links:
1.COVID-19 website

2.WHO travel advice

Where can I find reliable information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
We recommend official and vetted resources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and local governmental sources:

UAE:
Dubai – Dubai Health Authority (DHA) www.dha.gov.ae

Abu Dhabi – Department of Health (DoH) www.doh.gov.ae

Other countries in the Gulf:

Bahrain – Ministry of Health www.moh.gov.bh
Kuwait – Ministry of Health www.moh.gov.kw | https://corona.e.gov.kw
Oman – Ministry of Health www.moh.gov.om
Qatar – Ministry of Public Health www.moph.gov.qa

Other useful websites:
World Health Organization (WHO) www.who.int
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov

Where Can I find information about current travel restrictions?
Please refer to the IATA Travel Centre for the latest updates on travel restrictions at https://www.iata.org/ and your Local Government Authority.

What if I suspect I am infected with COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive?
Members with symptoms should visit a medical facility within their network or contact their local health authorities at the numbers provided above. The Doctor will assess and decide if the member needs to be tested for COVID-19 as per protocols established by the local regulator. As the situation is continuously changing, we advise you to check regularly the links provided above for updated information from your local government.

What is the list of hospitals or clinics I can visit should I have Coronavirus (COVID-19)
symptoms?
A member with symptoms can contact or visit any hospital within their network or contact their local health authority at the numbers provided above. The treating Doctor will assess and decide if the member needs to be tested for COVID-19 as per the protocols established by the local regulator.

I want to do the test to make sure I do not have Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The decision to test for Coronavirus (COVID-19) lies with the treating physician and the guidance of the
local health regulator. Members are advised to visit their local health authority website or call the contact numbers above for more information.

How much does it cost within the network – outside the network for the test?
Currently, most government authorities are providing the tests at no cost, and please note that charges may be incurred for doctor visits, screenings, additional labs, and those could incur a charge under the policy terms conditions and limits.

What is the isolation process?
The governmental and private hospitals are equipped with isolation rooms; however, the admission will be based on evaluation of government and clinical guidelines.

What is MetLife’s Business Continuity Plan in the event of a lockdown, or multiple staff
quarantined?
MetLife has launched a comprehensive approach to assess business readiness across all critical functions, and this includes operational readiness, employee mobility, infrastructure resiliency, and information security. We remain committed to ensuring our customers get the service they expect and the timely handling of claims.

To achieve this, we are:
1.Activating our business continuity planning to assess readiness throughout the enterprise
2. Conducting a review of end to end plans and interdependencies
3. Stress testing critical processes and systems including information technology and security
4. Determining alternate solutions for all critical processes, including resources and technology
5. Testing employee mobility and connectivity by enacting elements of our business continuity plan in a controlled environment
6. Scenario planning for a high number of resources being out due to illness and countermeasures and supplemental staffing should this situation arise. Additionally, MetLife is prepared to handle a shift to a remote workforce, with the majority of our team already equipped to work remotely and securely.

MetLife’s Business Continuity Plan in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Preparing for such outbreaks requires structured pre-planning, leveraging internal and external expertise, and coordinated action by all segments of the business, globally. MetLife has a comprehensive Crisis Management framework consisting of three distinct levels with teams set up to respond to incidents on a Country, Regional, and Global level. MetLife’s Infectious Disease response plans are embedded in the global crisis management framework and define country, regional, or global actions to support our customers, protect our employees, and continue operations. A dedicated internal Communicable Disease Working Group supported by pandemic response experts from International SOS on a Global and Regional level act as a steering group for the various local Crisis Management Teams to ensure consistency in approach, proper practice implementation, and global alignment in response.

Activities are undertaken by teams getting ready for any potential activation:
Preparedness: Activities that ensure preparedness, including pro-active communication, confirmation of roles and responsibilities, and technical and system preparedness.

Monitoring and updates: Global and regional monitoring to provide continuous situational awareness to ensure the earliest warning possible to teams and activation is in line with the spread of the disease.

Response and containment testing: Conduct ongoing pre-testing of business continuity setups across the organization, including technical system and IT readiness confirmations and dedicated readiness exercises for respective Crisis Management Teams.

Activities undertaken by our activated teams comprise of:

1. A business travel reduction with guidance to ensure full organizational capability balanced against health considerations of our employees.
2. Activation of our Business Continuity plans across the region with a focus on ensuring service provisions for highly affected countries. Our plans are a mixture of enabling our employees to work from home, splitting critical teams, and increase distancing between employees to reduce any potential direct effects.
3. Increase in customer communication to provide reassurance to existing clients, sharing of fact sheets
to increase balanced awareness to reduce anxiety, and support our customer base in higher affected countries through additional country-specific actions.
4. Implementation of strategies to increase employee and office space hygiene. A combination of briefings, posters, email advice, distribution of hand sanitizers, masks, and increased cleaning intensity.
5. Up to date information sharing amongst our employees via a dedicated microsite containing up to date information for governmental and non-governmental health advisory bodies, travel advice, and latest information on the virus form our health partner, International SOS.
6. Continuous pre-planned adjustment of MetLife’s IT operating environment to ensure enough bandwidth is available and sufficient corporate system access points for all key functions.
7. We are introducing work from home initiatives in higher affected countries supported by our digital
platforms, communication tools, and integrated system access options.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact: 

George Joseph

Executive Consultant Oman| MetLife

T.+967 24787531 | M. +968 92381084

george.joseph@metlifegulfagency.com

addleshaw goddard

Retrieved from: Addleshaw Goddard

Since December 2019, the coronavirus has continued to cause varying degrees of concern around the world. Whilst the economic consequences may take time to be fully understood, disruptions to supply chains are already emerging.

For commercial entities that have been or may be impacted by such disruption, now is a prudent time to consider what avenues of relief may be available in Omani law governed contracts. Namely, the concepts of Force Majeure and Unforeseen Circumstances. Whilst these concepts are often overlooked at the time of contracting, they can have important consequences in times of disruption and turmoil.

FORCE MAJEURE IN OMAN

At its simplest, the principle of force majeure can be defined as an unforeseen circumstance preventing a party from fulfilling its contractual obligations.

Force Majeure is a longstanding feature of both civil and common law jurisdictions. Even prior to the enactment of the Oman Civil Code[1]  (Civil Code) in 2013, force majeure was recognised in Omani jurisprudence[2].  The Omani courts had held that an event of force majeure was any event that prevented a party from performing its obligations under the relevant contract for reasons outside its control, and which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the party asserting the claim.

The Civil Code and the resulting codification of commercial law principles brought further clarity. Article 339 of the Civil Code (Impossibility of Performance) provides:

‘The Obligation shall be extinguished if the debtor proves that the fulfilment thereof become impossible due to a foreign cause beyond his will’

The word ‘impossible’ requires a high threshold to be established by the party asserting a force majeure event under the Civil Code. Accordingly, the mere fact a contractual obligation has become more onerous due to an unforeseen event will not provide a basis to invoke Article 339.

However, relief may be obtainable via other provisions of the Civil Code (discussed below).

COMMON CONTRACTUAL PROVISIONS

More commonly, force majeure is typically addressed in the express provisions of a contract. Such provisions may or may not provide a broader definition of force majeure than contemplated by Article 339.

For example, many standard form contracts in the construction industry seek to define force majeure events broadly, by providing express examples of such events. The FIDIC standard suite of contracts that are commonly used for private sector projects in the GCC refers to ‘Exceptional Events,’ meaning an ‘event or circumstance which:

  • is beyond a Party’s control; 
  • the Party could not reasonably have provided against before entering into the Contract;
  • having arisen, such Party could not reasonably have avoided or overcome; and
  • is not substantially attributable to the other Party.'[3]  

Public health events are not among the examples expressly defined to amount to an ‘Exceptional Event.‘ However this is of limited consequence as the definition is not limited to solely such examples.

As an interesting aside, early irritations of Omani Standard Conditions of Contracts, many of which are still in use, expressly state events such as ‘plague, quarantine’  and ‘epidemics,’[5]may constitute force majeure events.

UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Entities experiencing adverse impacts from the disruption caused by the Coronavirus would be well advised to contemplate the Civil Code’s treatment of ‘unforeseen circumstances.’

Article 159 of the Civil Code provides:

‘If general exceptional accidents that were unforeseen at the time of contracting occur and result in that the execution of the contractual obligation, even if not impossible, become burdensome to the debtor and threaten the latter with serious loss, the court may, according to the circumstances and after balancing the interests of both parties, reduce the burdensome obligation to a reasonable limit. Any other agreement to the contrary shall be void.’

Notably, Article 159 is one of a handful of provisions of the Civil Code that cannot be contracted out of by parties. Initially, it may seem that this principle and force majeure are similar concepts. This is not the case. There are important differences.

Unlike the treatment of force majeure in the Civil Code, where the relevant contractual obligation can be deemed ‘extinguished’ (i.e. terminated), Article 159 merely provides for the relevant contractual obligation to be reduced or in other words, lessened. The underlying contractual obligation itself will continue, albeit with some form of alteration to ease the burden on the obligor.

Whether or not performance has become oppressive due to an ‘unforeseen event’ and threatens a party with ‘serious loss’ is a matter of fact in each case. A court or arbitral tribunal considering an application for relief under Article 159 would need to determine, amongst other things, a causal link between the unforeseen event and that performance has become unduly burdensome. The financial capacity (or incapacity) to the obligor to absorb the effect the unforeseen event will be integral. The resulting impact on the counterparty will also be considered.

Given the reference to ‘serious loss,’ an objective assessment of the obligor’s overall financial standing would be relevant. A mere dent in an obligor’s balance sheet due to increased costs in performing an obligation will be unlikely to suffice. A degree of exorbitance is arguably required.

PRACTICAL STEPS

Parties that are experiencing adverse impacts due to a suspected event of force majeure or unforeseen circumstance should:

  • Promptly obtain legal advice to explore what avenues for relief may be available under the contract and the Civil Code;
  • Not assume force majeure clauses will give rise to relief in every instance; and
  • Maintain detailed records to justify the financial consequences of any such events.

Ultimately, the speed of the Coronavirus is a timely reminder of the importance of ensuring due consideration is given to how sudden events can displace the contractual bargain.

For any questions on the above article please contact Nic Henderson, Managing Associate at n.henrikson@aglaw.com

rental copy

Retrieved from: RA Logistics

RA Logistics has a Global Network of 185 Registered offices around the world, specializing in International Logistics & Forwarding, Supply Chain Solutions, Consultancy and Projects across many industry sectors.

Despite on-going challenges, RA logistics can assist with international shipping requirements, including FTA related matters. 

  • Services include Airfreight — customers can still use Freighter Services into Oman despite all passenger flights being canceled from the 29th March 2020. 
  • RA Logistics also specializes in FTA shipments and has practical hands-on experience working closely with their clients, Oman Customs and U.S. suppliers to ensure all aspects are properly in order for smooth clearance.

RA’s consultancy and projects across industry sectors include:

  • Oil and Gas / Energy
  • Oil and Gas / Energy
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Environmental
  • Government
  • Safety & Security
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Environmental
  • Government
  • Safety & Security
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • More

The advanced logistic solutions that Resource Allocations provides not only stretches across a number of industries, it is proven, reliable, and certified. Some of the features associated with our import and export logistics includes:

  1. Highly experienced team in all aspects of International Transportation Services
  2. Key Relations & Partnerships with all major Sea freight and Airfreight Carriers
  3. Competitive Market Rates
  4.  Airfreight: Direct / PO Consolidation / Lower Deck / Main Deck Freighter / Charter
  5. Sea freight: LCL / FCL / PO Consolidation / Break-bulk / Ro-Ro / Project / Heavy Lift / Charter
  6. Dangerous Goods / Hazardous
  7.  Road Transportation
  8. Shipment visibility & Status Reporting
  9. Purchase Order Management & Expediting
  10. Customs Clearance & Compliance
  11. Project Management
  12. On-Site Shipment Coordination
  13. Marine Cargo Insurance
  14. Total Transportation & Supply Chain Services and Solutions
  15. Network Partners in all key International Locations
  16. Registered Member of World Partner Alliance www.ourwpa.com

 

PGC Logo email 100X100

Without a doubt, we are in a world a crisis due to Covid-19. The events of the past few weeks affect our countries, our businesses, our families, and our personal lives. When it comes to making decisions, we as human beings notoriously bad making decisions under normal conditions. This is due to several reasons, including cognitive biases, cognitive traps, and misperceptions about the world around us. The pressure of making decisions in crises multiplies this problem. For example, one of the reasons for bad decision-making is that we do not generate enough options to find a good solution. But in a crisis, the freeze/fight/flight response forces us to limit the possibilities even more, leading to even worse solutions.

What can we do?

The good news is that there are some scientific solutions to making better decisions under pressure. I want to share three suggestions that scientists who study decision making under pressure say will help leaders make better decisions. The ideas are: don’t make decisions alone, don’t forget the human element, and don’t try to control the uncontrollable. We will look briefly at each of these.

1. Don’t make decisions alone

Science has much to teach us from the ultimate high-pressure situation: airline disasters. Under normal conditions, the captain is in charge of everything, and he or she is the final decision-maker. In a crisis, captains who considered the flight crews’ ideas fared much better.

The captain’s communication style also mattered. When the captains asked open-ended questions and listened, they found better solutions. Some of these questions included, “How do you assess the situation?”; “What options do you see?”; and “What do you suggest?”

Scientists suggest that leaders not try to control everything but to seek order over control. “Order” means that everyone understands what their job is and what they can expect from others. Leaders in crises must reduce the number of decisions they make on their own and delegate as many decisions as possible.

Research from McKinsey and Company highlights this idea. “Amid uncertainty generated by a crisis, leaders often feel an urge to limit authority to those at the top, with a small team making the big decisions while huddled behind closed doors. They should reject the hierarchical model that they might be more comfortable with in normal times and instead involve many more stakeholders and encourage different views and debate. This approach can lead to smarter decisions without sacrificing speed.”

The Take-Aways

Involve colleagues as equal decision-makers, ask open-ended questions, and delegate as many decisions as possible.

2. Don’t Forget the Human Elements

A leader must always remember that critical situations affect people, and people are emotional. Leaders must never  forget the psychological impact of uncertainty. While profits, revenue, sales, and costs are always essential, the people in the company and their emotions also affect all of these metrics.

The purpose of all organizations is to accomplish together what an individual cannot do alone. We do this in a crisis when each individual knows his or her contribution, and we as leaders recognize that contribution. A crisis is an excellent time for being the leader who coaches the team through the crisis Good coaching will certainly help your team deal with the psychological trauma caused by uncertainty.

As a leader during a crisis, you must do all you can to minimize fear and uncertainty that your colleagues feel and bring healing to the situation. Clearly articulating the mission and the accomplishments of each member of the team will help.

The Take-Aways

Take the psychological needs of your team into consideration and give them as much psychological safety as possible. We do this by helping them see the big picture, recognizing their accomplishments, coaching them through the situation, and clearly articulating the mission.

3. Don’t Try to Control the Uncontrollable

We cannot control everything in our lives. Every factor in our life is not under our management, and in a crisis situation, this is even more true. According to scientist in the field of positive psychology, to develop a healthy level of personal control we must understand our own limits of control and not try to manage the things beyond our control. Psychologists call this the “paradox of surrender.”

PositivePhychology.com explains this idea well. “Surrendering means letting go of unproductive efforts to control the uncontrollable. It involves accepting that there is nothing one can do to change the situation. Surrendering is not the same as becoming a victim and passively being overtaken without choice. Surrendering means you decide to let go of things that you cannot control and focus on the things you can control.”

Surrender, then, does not mean giving up and giving in. It involves dealing with the uncontrollable in different, “non-active” ways. We understand better how to deal actively with problems we can control. But how do we deal with the things we cannot control in “inactive” ways?

I will suggest three ideas

First, deal actively with the emotions involved in being out of control. This includes such things as giving yourself the space to feel the feelings, not fixating on the negative feelings, and realizing that this situation is not permanent.

Second, reframe the situation. We do this by taking the bigger view of the situation and seeing it in a broader perspective. It also helps to question your underlying assumptions and changing them.

Last, practice coping behaviors. Some of these include reading a good book, prayer and meditation, and physical activity.

The Take-Aways

Here are some concrete steps you can take to help deal with the uncontrollable:

1. Identify what you can control and what you cannot.

2. Deal effectively in “active” ways with the things you can control.

3. Stop trying to directly control the things that are beyond your control and deal with them in “inactive” ways, including dealing with emotions, reframing, and employing coping mechanisms.

When your team sees you positively dealing with the uncontrollable, it will encourage them to do the same.

Conclusion

Times of crisis are hard on everyone. Fortunately, scientists have studied this subject at great length and have several precise methods to help us deal with these situations. Three important ones are: don’t make decisions alone, don’t forget the human element, and don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Your team is looking to you for leadership in times of crisis By being a great leader in “moments like these,” we can and will be more effective in our leadership after the crisis has passed.

If you want more information on these topics or want to read the underlying research, please write to me at MikeW@PGC-Oman.com.

Mike with Tie Small

ACC WEB email

 

Dr. Mike Williams

Professional Gulf Consulting

MikeW@PGC-Oman.com

www.PGC-Oman.com

 

Crowe Logo

Retrieved from: Crowe Oman

The New CCL will create a more robust and transparent corporate governance regime in Oman. The new provisions would be applied in practice when an Executive Regulation will be published in the coming months.

On 18th April 2019, a New Commercial Companies Law (New CCL) entered into force in the Sultanate of Oman. The New CCL has 312 articles split into 5 parts:

1. General Provisions (Article 1 to 20)
2. General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships and Joint Venture Companies (Article 21 to 87)
3. Joint Stock Company (Article 88 to 233)
4. Limited Liability Company (Article 234 to 297)
5. Inspection, Penalties and Final Provisions. (Article 298 to 312)

In this article, we shall be covering specific areas related to Joint Stock Companies on how the companies need to gear themselves to comply with the new Commercial Companies Law.

 

Establishment

The founders of a public joint stock company may subscribe to no less than 30% of the shares of the company and no more than 60% of the shares. However, if a company is converted into a public joint stock company, the maximum is 75%. Some cases the authority may permit a higher percentage. Companies fully owned by the government and holding companies shall also be exempt from the prescribed percentage. The founders may not dispose their shares
before the company has published financials for two consecutive years from its registration date. The period may be extended to additional one year by the relevant authority. As per the new law, a holding company will take the form
of a joint stock company unlike the previous situation where the holding company had the options to be a limited liability company or a joint stock company.

 

Joint Liability

The Board of Directors and the auditors of a Joint Stock Company will be jointly liable for damages caused by their failure to take necessary measures to safeguard the company’s capital. In case the company loses 25% of its capital,
the Board of Directors need to take necessary measures to remove the reasons causing such loss and restore the company’s profitability. If the company loses 50% of its capital, an extraordinary general meeting must be convened to take the necessary decision in this regard. The meeting must be convened within a maximum of 30 days from the date on which the Board has verified the loss in capital.

 

Board of Directors

Directors and management of Joint Stock Companies must now notify the company in writing of any interest they have in the company within a maximum of 5 days from the date of his/her acquisition of membership or appointment. A director may not participate in the management of another company engaged in identical business. The members of the Board of Directors shall not be less than:

• five for public joint stock companies,
• and less than three for closed joint stock companies.
In closed and public Joint Stock Companies, the number of Board of Directors cannot exceed 11 members. In the repealed law the maximum members were 12. A director is deemed to have legally resigned if he or she fails to attend
3 consecutive meetings, unless there is an acceptable excuse provided to the Board.

 

Annual General Meeting

The Board shall send to the attendees at least 15 days before the AGM the following documents:
• Invitation for attending the meeting
• Board Reports
• Audited Financial Statements In the repealed law the notice period was 2 weeks.

 

Minority Shareholders

A general meeting shall be convened whenever required or if requested by holders representing at least 10% of the capital (in the repealed CCL it was 25%). The meeting should be held within a maximum of 30 days from the date of necessity or request. If the Board fails to convene the meeting within that period, the auditor shall convene it within
30 days from the expiry of the aforementioned period. A shareholder representing 5% of the capital can include an item on the meeting agenda (in the repealed CCL it was 10%). Additionally, if a shareholder representing 5% of the capital is of the opinion that management’s handling of the company affair’s are detrimental to their interest, they have a right to submit a request to the Concerned Body and take legal proceedings before the competent court. These
revisions in the new CCL, will better protect the
rights of minority shareholders.”

 

Quorum and Minutes of the Meetings

Quorum of shareholder meetings:
• Annual General Meeting – 50% share capital represented
• Extraordinary General Meeting – 75% share capital represented
The Minutes of the shareholders meeting now have to be filed within 7 days with competent authority. In the repealed law it was 15 days. The minutes of the meetings shall be prepared by the secretary appointed by the general
meeting. The minutes shall specify the number, percentage of share capital represented, the deliberations of the meeting, the resolutions adopted, the number of votes supporting such resolutions and anything which the shareholders want to be endorsed in the minutes.The minutes shall be signed by the secretary, the auditor and the legal advisor of the company and approved by the Chairman of the meeting.

 

Timeline

Companies have less than a year to comply with the provisions of the new CCL. It is vital for companies to review their existing governing policies and systems to ascertain whether they comply with the New CCL. The Memorandum of Association may require to be amended to incorporate the new governance processes, meeting timelines and related party reporting procedures. The coverage of list of offences have been substantially increased and non-adherence to the New CCL would result to greater penalties and sanctions.

For details on this article, please contact Paul Kallukaran at paul.kallukaran@crowe.om

Untitled presentation
Jisser internship platform was created by the support and guidance of OABC and Al Daud Foundation, you can learn more about this initiative here: https://www.aldaud.com/portfolio/al-daud-foundation/
.
As a kind gesture, Jisser has opened the platform for all OABC members to have a free account which will allow them to:
.
  • Post any internship openings in the company for an entire year
  • Build a pool of talented young graduates
  • No obligation to employ interns after the internship period
  • No obligation for payment as long as the intern agrees.

For more details contact Kalthoom Al Khamayasi at ko0ola@live.com

 

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During a time of social distancing and remote working, the OABC canceled or postponed many spring 2020 events.
Other events moved online. On March 17 and 19, members attended a webinar with PWC about the impacts of COVID-19 on the MENA region.  
 
Attendees heard from PwC advisors on the key issues all businesses are working through and the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on business continuity. This webinar was organized in partnership with AmCham Bahrain.
 
The OABC continues to wish all its members and partners the best of health and safety in the weeks ahead.