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    COVID-19 Business Impacts: Do You Know What Your Contracts Say About Force Majeure?

    April 16, 2020

    Whether as a landlord, a lender, a manufacturer or a buyer, the upheaval in our lives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way we do business. What you may not be aware of is the impact it can have on your business contracts.

    Force majeure clauses, often considered to be standard boilerplate contract language, have not gotten much attention before now. With many contract obligations likely to default in the coming weeks and months, it is imperative that all parties to a contract understand this legal concept and how it affects their or their counterparty’s duty to perform on the contract. If a force majeure clause is successfully invoked, it may allow either or both parties to excuse performance under the contact temporarily or permanently. If you are a party to a contract containing such a clause, you need to know about it.

    CDS can assist you in determining the impact that force majeure clauses may have on the viability of those contracts and the impact that will have on your business’ current and ongoing assets and liabilities. The treatment of force majeure clauses will differ from state to state and based on the language of the actual contract. In leveraging a technology-first approach with a proprietary workflow to segment and understand the content of contracts, the analysis of force majeure could be far reaching both in what it means for the contract and also in how your business may perform.

    CDS Contract Review and Analysis leverages Heretik’s document review software which allows for contract segmentation to effectively focus on the force majeure language in question with a level of efficiency that human review alone cannot achieve. Using our proprietary workflow in conjunction with CDS Secure, Socially Distanced Managed Review, our highly experienced lawyer-technologists work closely with counsel to understand a party’s exposure under a certain contract. Compiling contracts by jurisdiction allows counsel to provide a full picture of your business’ liability during and after the pandemic. In this era of uncertainty, having a complete understanding of how force majeure clauses impact your business allows you to gain valuable insight to forge a path forward and protect your business.

    To learn more about how CDS can help you analyze your contracts, contact and one of our review specialists will be in touch.

    About the Author

    Steve Wang, Director of Managed Review, CDS New York

    Steve Wang leads the operations of CDS’s Managed Review services and focuses on overseeing CDS’s Technology Driven Review offering. He coordinates closely with the CDS Project Management and Advisory Services teams as well as law firm attorneys or corporate clients to understand clients’ goals and deadlines. The Review Management team helps develop customized document review protocols, QC protocols, and privilege review and logging protocols to ensure that they are tailored to meet client and case specific needs and adhere to best practices.