By Steve Nichol
On 7 May 2020 the UK Government published its “Guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by the COVID-19 emergency”. Here are some of the key points arising and our analysis of the same.
It is not mandatory. The Guidance repeatedly stresses that the Government is merely strongly encouraging compliance with the Guidance, rather than suggesting that it is or should be mandatory. However, as with previous policy announcements by the UK Government, it seems likely that public and local authorities, and indeed potentially companies such as Network Rail who are exercising delegated governmental authority, will be compelled to give greater regard and attention to the Guidance than the private sector. Continue reading COVID-19: Review of the UK Government’s Guidance on Responsible Contractual Behaviour
By Sue Laws
COVID 19 is having a massive impact on supply chains and business continuity and, post lockdown, questions will be asked about who pays for this. The knee-jerk response of many businesses is that the pandemic is a unique, unforeseeable “Act of God” and that businesses which have furloughed staff or been forced to close during the lockdown or have had difficulties with their own supply chains or customers reducing purchase volumes, have no liabilities to or remedies against others for the consequent losses sustained. The reality is that on a case by case basis, businesses already adversely affected by this pandemic may find that contractual claims are being made against them or that they have a route to mitigate their losses by looking at their own contractual or statutory rights.
Key to the analysis which will be carried out is a bit of “jargon-busting” and debunking some commonly held views: Continue reading Is COVID-19 A Contractual “Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free” Card?