Force Majeure And Other Contractual Issues In A COVID-19 World

 Thursday, July 9, 2020

 Risk Management Magazine

From boardrooms to stockrooms, companies of all shapes and sizes are grappling with COVID-19. Federal, state and local restrictions on commerce and travel have thrown the business world into disarray, threatening the ability of many companies to satisfy their contractual obligations.

While many companies are exploring business solutions and trying to renegotiate existing deals, the legal doctrine of force majeure and the related defenses of impossibility, impracticability and frustration of purpose necessarily have moved to the forefront of many discussions in the commercial sector.

A fundamental understanding of how force majeure functions in the legal world is critical to developing and implementing the correct strategies in the business world.

Parties to contracts containing force majeure provisions must ensure that they are adequately availing themselves of the legal protections such provisions provide.

Conversely, parties that may be adversely affected by the invocation of force majeure by counterparties need to decide whether to assert legal challenges of their own or to negotiate alternative solutions.
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