COVID-19 IMPACT ON CONTRACTS

Resource Page On Contractual And Legal Issues Arising From The Impact Of COVID-19 On Businesses
February-June 2020

 

In early February 2020 when this page was created, there were increasing reports of global supply chains being impacted or disrupted as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic, with rippling knock-on effects on markets around the world. This situation has been and is likely to continue straining a number of contractual relationships. By far the best approach is to discuss and document mutually acceptable solutions, which also protect the security and health of all staff potentially at risk of exposure to the virus.

In the event of potential disputes, parties may wish to consider the impact of any force majeure, business continuity and disaster recovery provisions in their contracts and whether, under the governing law of said contracts, this may characterise a situation of impossibility or frustration – before taking any legal action. Parties may also wish to consider in advance the applicability of imprévision or similar legal doctrines, as well as any requirement of mitigation of damage.

Please find below a selection of English language client guidance published by law firms and practitioners during February-May 2020, which may be of initial help with thinking through these questions. The guidance is organised by jurisdiction, topic and industry (excluding notably labour / employment law and tax issues), with a final section referencing selected guidance published in languages other than English. Please note that (i) the selection has been performed on the basis of relevance, timeliness and suitability (i.e. no sponsorship involved), and (ii) this information is not legal advice and has not been independently verified by Delos. Any questions should be addressed to the relevant law firms / practitioners directly. For a large, unsorted, database of such guidance, organised by law firm and which can be filtered by publication title, see the Stanford Law School Covide-19 Memo Database.

While this page is no longer being updated as of 1 June 2020, we are still happy to receive comments and submissions of additional materials for referencing, at info@delosdr.org. This resource page was nominated for the Global Arbitration Review (GAR) Special Recognition Award for Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, on 19 June 2020. Finally, and separately, Delos has also published (i) a checklist for holding hearings in times of COVID-19 and (ii) a mapping of available resources on holding virtual hearings.

INFORMATION BY JURISDICTION

Global

  • Discussion of force majeure in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England & Wales, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine: CMS Expert Guide to Force Majeure

Australia

Austria

Brazil

China: see PRC, below, and materials in Mandarin, at bottom

Denmark

England & Wales, UK (incl. case law references)

France (see also materials in French at bottom)

Germany (see also materials in German at bottom)

Hong Kong

Indonesia

Italy

Mexico

Pakistan

PRC (for Hong Kong, see above)

Russia

Senegal

Singapore

Switzerland

UK: see England & Wales, above

UAE

USA

Vietnam

INFORMATION BY TOPIC

General

Accounting disclosures

Antitrust

Business continuity provisions

Change of circumstances

Data protection

Disaster recovery provisions

Force majeure provisions / statutory force majeure

Freedom of expression

Frustration

Good faith

Hardship / imprévision

Impracticality and/or impossibility of performance

Insolvency

Investment Treaty

Material Adverse Change (MAC) / Material Adverse Effect (MAE) clauses

INFORMATION BY INDUSTRY

Banking and Finance

Charter Parties

Construction

Energy

Entertainment & Media

Environment

Insurance

Life sciences

M&A

Sports

Tech