Businesses everywhere are feeling the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, with few being immune to its quite devasting side effects. We have seen the cancellation of events, restrictions on peoples’ movement, failures in supply chains as well a whole host of other nasty knock-on effects that have started to cripple the economy. Due to these covid-caused effects we are seeing, it’s inevitable that questions to do with legal liability, contract terminations, and inevitable refund requests will be asked.
Here we will try to address some of these concerns as well as give helpful advice about where to go to get up-to-speed on the latest business-related law practices through online commercial law courses which can help in navigating through these treacherous times.
Force Majeure Clauses
Force majeure is a clause found in contracts which work to change those parties’ commitments in the contract under the circumstance that involve an event which is beyond their control, and prevent one or everyone included in the contract from achieving their original commitments outlined.
Often examples of force majeure clauses included in contracts will incorporate ‘acts of god’, i.e. natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes, and groups looking to activate this clause must have evidence that the failure to abide by the contract was out of that other group’s control and that there were no reasonable steps that could be taken to avoid such an outcome.
Is Covid-19 covered?
Usually force majeure clauses will set out a list of specific events or will set out broad criteria that will determine whether or not there is a case for triggering the clause. In regard to broad criteria, an example of this in a contract may state, “events out of the parties’ control”, in relation to covid-19 then deciding if this is covered needs to be interpreted using the facts that are available. In this case then courts are likely to be considerate when interpreting the facts to determine whether the party affected had legitimate problems in completing their obligation in the contract.
For businesses experiencing these issues making sure their practitioners are up-to-date with the latest commercial law practices can help massively in the prevention of these kind of issues from occurring in your business through training your staff with online commercial law training courses.
Find out more and get updated on the latest commercial law practices with Datalaw’s comprehensive range of online CPD commercial law training courses here.