COVID-19’s Impact on Commercial Transactions and Disputes in the United States

May 28, 2020

Webinar

The ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is among the most devastating and disruptive forces in recent history. As a result of the emergency measures imposed by various governments, it has or will become impracticable or impossible for many parties to perform their contractual obligations – or at least some will claim as such. A common question in the wake of the pandemic will thus be whether a party should be excused for its non-performance.

The answer to that question will vary by the terms of the contract at issue, the particular facts surrounding the nonperformance, and the law of the jurisdiction involved. However, a party whose operations were compromised by the pandemic should seek to assess the applicability of the following defenses: force majeure, frustration of purpose, impossibility, impracticability and the material adverse change doctrines.

  • Each of these defenses in the context of potential commercial contracts disputes arising out of the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Common obstacles to invoking these defenses
  • Similar defenses that may be available when a contract is governed by the U.C.C. or the C.I.S.G.
  • Disputes over whether changed circumstances are sufficient to call off acquisition and financing transactions

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