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Recent Developments Regarding Force Majeure

 

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.

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Recent Developments Regarding Force Majeure

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Recent Developments Regarding Force Majeure

Faculty

Scott D. Cahalan

Scott D. Cahalan

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

  • Partner in the Construction Law and Litigation Section of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, an AmLaw 200 firm
  • Adjunct Professor of Design and Construction Law at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Counsel to the Georgia Utility Contractor’s Association
  • Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia
  • Recognized by Chambers USA, America’s Best Lawyers, and Georgia Super Lawyers for construction law in the State of Georgia
  • Drafter of the Associated Owners and Developers’ standard form construction contracts
  • 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 404-815-3711, [email protected] or [email protected]
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