COVID-19, frustration and force majeure

20th March 2020

St John’s Chambers, Commercial team

In the midst of Covid-19 issues are already arising as to the effect which the outbreak may have upon existing contractual obligations. Businesses and individual traders are immediately feeling the effects. Our specialist commercial and chancery barristers have already received enquiries in respect of the operation of force majeure clauses and the doctrine of frustration.

To assist, we have prepared this guide to the key principles of frustration and force majeure in the context of Covid-19. Read full guide here

Chambers recognises the importance of helping businesses and individual traders navigate through the worrying and uncertain times ahead. To help smaller businesses and individual traders, many members of our specialist teams are willing to offer initial advice and guidance on the contractual issues raised by the Covid-19 crisis on a pro bono or conditional fee basis in appropriate cases. Solicitors acting for businesses and traders should contact the clerking team to arrange an initial discussion with one of our barristers.

Our members are also experienced in advising on the implications of statutory regulations affecting businesses and will be happy to offer advice in respect of statutory changes made as part of the Government’s response to Covid-19.

Chambers has moved quickly to establish effective remote working and telephone / video-conferencing facilities, allowing our barristers to continue providing high-quality specialist advice without compromising the safety of our clients, members and staff. These steps ensure that those instructing us can still access the knowledge and experience of our specialist commercial and chancery barristers, who remain keen to assist wherever possible.