Force majeure: Use with caution

Stephanie canham landscape

Liability exclusion or force majeure clauses don’t always work as intended, so draft your contract carefully, says Stephanie Canham

Construction contracts usually contain various exclusions of liability relating to the acts or omissions of the parties or to events outside their control. This is a normal part of the commercial process of negotiation and risk allocation by those seeking to agree and insure their contractual promises. A well-known example is a force majeure or contractual frustration clause. These provisions are intended to relieve one or both of the parties from performance of some or all of their obligations due to the occurrence of specified events.

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