As an adult person with work and RL.
i agree that 9h combat timer is too long... it's like it meant you to be locked in-game for that time and if you can't well.. better just don't play at all because someone definitely will have way way more online time to offline raid you.
But really it could be 4h(even this for many working and normally functional adult gamers could be a bit over the edge.. ) with 20h peacetime so at least people can have time for defending, rebuilding, farming and maybe even exploring Atlas.. which is rather impossible when you need to be on watch 9h a day.
About Lawless, they are good as they are, hence they are lawless..
What i see as a problem now is if people who are not allied to the owner of the island is living there, the owner can just tear apart their property without any penalties.. even if they didn't do anything and were paying to owners some mutual "tax".
What could be actually done for sake of the safety of residents non-owners of claimed islands, is to implement in game mechanic of renting land tax which could be set, let's say from a 24h to 1 week(or any longer time) of the period by the sum of gold, which if is paid by a said resident company to the owner company, starts "non-aggressive pact" for set time between both companies( no changes in tax sum/period after pact has been activated should impact previously activated pacts, so there would be no griefing), pact would last even in a combat time, so there would be no griefing by either side.. as a set limitation to resident company, so it doesn't build up all around the island(becasue obv oweners would not be able to prevent that), before activating non-aggressive pact, it could be set by some "residential land claim flag"(let's say it would work like this: resident puts a flag where they want and the size they want and island owner has to go by this flag and accept it to make it legitimate) the territory in which resident company is allowed to build.
Ofc this would be optional and any company that owns the island can decide if they want to have residents/taxpayers on their island or they don't, so leaving for non-taxpayers current in-game mechanics..