Coronavirus – Legal implications & practical considerations for commercial dealings

The coronavirus outbreak is having a significant impact on commercial dealings. The biggest challenge that each business will face in relation to the virus is understanding what effects the outfall of the virus will have upon them. This will differ from sector to sector and, indeed, from business to business within a sector. For some businesses the impact will be marginal and for others it will be much more profound.  A common issue faced by clients is the extent to which the outbreak excuses them or their counterparties from their contractual obligations.

This briefing provides general guidance on this issue and highlights ways in which you can review certain aspects of your business in light of the challenges ahead. This guidance focusses only on English-law governed contracts.

Guidance as PDF


Do you have a question about the implications of the coronavirus outbreak or would like practical guidance? Submit a question to our lawyers below and they will provide the answer on social media.

What parts of my business is likely to be affected as a result of coronavirus?

Carefully consider the terms of your contracts. Consider what obligations are potentially affected or disrupted.

Consider is there a potential breach and what are the consequences?

What clauses can I rely on if I am unable to fulfil my obligations under a contract as a result of coronavirus?

If you receive a notice from your counterparty that it is seeking to rely on force majeure, or, you give such notice, you should consider what steps you can take to mitigate your loss. In general, a claimant cannot recover loss caused by the other party’s breach that it could have taken reasonable steps to avoid.

What practical steps can I take now to help mitigate my loss?

Practical considerations beyond contractual analysis?

Useful resources:

Who do I contact for support and advice?

For more information on how we can support you during this time please contact one of our Corporate & Commercial law specialists below.

Our Corporate & Commercial Team

Unsure who to contact? Make a general enquiry:

Newbury Thatcham Maidenhead London Windsor Swindon
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