March 17, 2020
Partner David Outerbridge has told the Globe and Mail that most parties who are facing potential force majeure issues are searching for ways to “work together” to find solutions.
The Globe piece discusses how businesses are dealing with the potential of commercial contracts being broken by force majeure clauses which, according to the article, “can excuse one of the parties to a contract from performing their side of the bargain—absolving them of financial responsibility or extending deadlines without a penalty.”
David said that with a range of issues presenting themselves that could raise force majeure issues, most are working in conjunction with their commercial partners to find ways to work together to find solutions.
“Even though not every force majeure clause is going to be triggered by COVID-19, people recognize that the world of commerce is slowing down, and it’s being interrupted,” David said.
“Because of that blunt reality, it’s more important to co-operatively figure out a way to make the pain as little as possible rather than to get into a big fight.”
David and a team of Torys lawyers have written a piece on force majeure clauses in light of COVID-19. You can learn more about considerations for your organization by reading “COVID-19 and force majeure clauses: key considerations, implications, and practice tips”.
At Torys, we understand the how the pandemic is presenting challenging and unique circumstances for businesses. We are keeping close watch on developments as they unfold, and have established a resource centre on our website, COVID-19 guidance for organizations, where you can find our latest updates for businesses navigating COVID-19-related issues.