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PE Live: Covid-19 may not justify force majeure

The declaring party will need to demonstrate a causal link between the pandemic and the reason it is unable to fulfil its obligations

The existence of the Covid-19 pandemic on its own is not enough for a party to declare force majeure, so the claiming party will need to demonstrate a causal link from an event to the inability to perform obligations, according to panellists on the third PE Live webcast today. While the pandemic is an “extremely serious outbreak and global in reach”, in terms of declaring force majeure “things are not entirely straightforward,” says Richard Nelson, partner, energy practice at international law firm King & Spalding. This stems from force majeure not being an abstract legal concept but one embedded in a contract. “From a legal standpoint, it only exists in a contract. Whatever rights you

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