Commercial Disputes - Litigation

Force Majeure Clauses and Contractual Obligations

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What is a force majeure clause?

The law on force majeure varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Typically, a “force majeure” clause is a contract provision that relieves the parties from performing their contractual obligations when certain unforeseeable circumstances beyond their control arises making performance impracticable, illegal, or impossible. These events typically need to be described in the force majeure clause and can include wars, strikes, riots, crimes, and pandemics.

What are contractual obligations?

Contractual obligations are responsibilities imposed by a contract in exchange for a benefit. For example, if two parties agree to buy and sell a product, the buyer would have a contractual obligation to pay the seller in a certain amount by a certain time, while the seller would have a contractual obligation to provide the product in a certain amount by a certain time.

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UK Insight - Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Force Majeure Event: The English Law Perspective