Recent Developments Regarding Force Majeure
1 hour 30 minutes
Understand the scope of traditional and nontraditional force majeure clauses so you are better equipped to draft and negotiate.
Understanding, drafting, and negotiating force majeure clauses in construction contracts has never been more important than it is today in these trying times. Construction contracts have traditionally addressed the risk of supervening, unforeseen, and uncontrollable events, such as natural disasters, war, and civil unrest through the use of standard boilerplate force majeure (superior force) clauses. Oftentimes these clauses are included in construction contracts without modification, negotiation, or even much thought about the devastating effects that force majeure events could have on a construction project. Construction projects are more likely than ever to be adversely affected by national and global events, such as climate change, pandemics, material shortages, tariffs, trade agreements, and terrorism. These topics are not adequately addressed by the standard force majeure clauses found in industry contracts. This can lead to disputes as parties try to make these risks fit within the traditional force majeure clauses, and the common law defenses of impossibility, impracticability, and frustration of purpose. This topic will give you the necessary knowledge and tools to draft, negotiate, and enforce force majeure clauses that will allocate the risk of force majeure events consistent with how you think these risks should be allocated. By attending this topic, you will better understand the scope and limitations of traditional force majeure clauses and the common law defenses. You will also have a better understanding of how you can modify a traditional force majeure clause to address nontraditional and project specific risks that could adversely affect your construction project. Attending this topic is critical for anyone who will or may draft, negotiate, sign, or administer construction contracts, including owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, contractor administrators, construction managers, contracting officers, attorneys, and others in the construction industry.
• You will be able to recognize the legal effect of not including a force majeure clause in a construction contract.
• You will be able to identify general and specific risks that could or should be addressed in a force majeure clause.
• You will be able to describe more effective force majeure clauses.
• You will be able to explain how to negotiate, sign, and administer construction contracts and purchase orders to better understand their rights, defenses, and options in event of a dispute involving a force majeure clause.