COVID-19 IMPACT ON CONTRACTS

Resource Page On Contractual And Legal Issues Arising From The Coronavirus Impact On Business Contracts

Last updated: 31 March 2020

 

Starting in early February 2020 when this page was created, there have been an increasing number of reports about global supply chains being impacted or disrupted as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19 / 2019-nCoV) outbreak, with rippling knock-on effects on markets around the world. This situation is likely to strain 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 that may be of initial help with thinking through these questions, organised by jurisdiction, topic and industry (excluding notably labour / employment law and tax issues); a final section references 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. To submit additional materials for referencing on this page and/or to request materials on specific topics not covered below, please write to us at info@delosdr.org. Finally, and separately, Delos has also published a checklist for holding hearings in times of COVID-19.

INFORMATION BY JURISDICTION

Australia

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

Pakistan

PRC (for Hong Kong, see above)

Singapore

Switzerland

UK: see for now England & Wales, above

USA

Vietnam

INFORMATION BY TOPIC

General issue checklist

Accounting disclosures

Antitrust

Business continuity provisions

Change of circumstances

Data privacy

Disaster recovery provisions

Force majeure provisions / statutory force majeure

Freedom of expression

Frustration

Hardship / imprévision

Impracticality and/or impossibility of performance

Insolvency

Investment Treaty Claims

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

INFORMATION BY INDUSTRY

Banking and Finance

Charter Parties

Construction

Energy

Environment

Insurance

Life sciences

M&A

Press

Tech