Jenner & Block

Client Alert: Evaluating Force Majeure Clauses in Connection with the COVID-19 Outbreak

As governments and businesses take action to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, companies must consider whether and to what extent their existing contractual agreements oblige parties to perform while events related to COVID-19 are impacting the performance under those contracts.  Many contracts contain force majeure clauses that may excuse performance in the face of COVID-19.  These provisions are not uniform, and the scope of relief they afford may vary considerably based upon the language used, the jurisdictions involved, and the unique facts and circumstances of each case.  We provide a brief overview here of how a force majeure clause may excuse performance with respect to COVID-19-related events.