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Force Majeure Clauses in Construction Contracts

 

Understand the scope of traditional and non-traditional force majeure clauses so you are equipped to draft and negotiate better clauses.

Construction contracts have traditionally addressed the risk of supervening, uncontrollable events, such as natural disasters, war, and civil unrest, through the use of standard force majeure (superior force) clauses. Oftentimes such clauses are included in construction contracts without modification, negotiation, or much thought or appreciation about the actual risks or devastating effects that such events would have on a construction project. Modern construction projects are also more likely than in the past to be adversely affected by national and global events, such as climate change, material shortages, tariffs, trade agreements, and terrorism that are not adequately addressed by the standard force majeure clauses. This can lead to disputes as parties try to make these risks fit within the traditional force majeure clauses. As a result, this topic will help owners, developers, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, and others in the construction industry develop a better understanding of the importance of adequately addressing the risk of supervening, uncontrollable events in force majeure clauses. You will better understand the scope of traditional force majeure clauses, and you will better appreciate the possibilities of addressing nontraditional and project specific risks through force majeure clauses. In short, this topic will help you draft and negotiate better force majeure clauses, which will lead to better contracts and less disputes, which is critical for anyone who will or may draft, negotiate, sign, or administer a construction contract.

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Force Majeure Clauses in Construction Contracts

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Force Majeure Clauses in Construction Contracts

Faculty

Scott Cahalan

Scott Cahalan

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

  • Partner in the construction law section of Smith, Gambrell and Russell, LLP, an AmLaw 200 firm
  • Adjunct professor of design and construction law at Georgia Institute of Technology
  • General counsel to the Georgia Utility Contractor’s Association
  • Practice includes all aspects of design and construction law from drafting and negotiating prime contracts, subcontracts, and purchase orders to mediating, arbitrating, and litigating construction disputes
  • Drafted form construction contracts for a national owner organization, a large university, and a fortune 50 company
  • Recognized by Chambers USA and Georgia Super Lawyers
  • Frequent author and lecturer on construction law
  • Member of the State Bar of Georgia, Northern District of Georgia, and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • J.D. degree, with honors, University of Georgia; B.S. degree in construction engineering, Iowa State University
  • Can be contacted at [email protected], [email protected], or 404-815-3711
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Force Majeure Clauses in Construction Contracts

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