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Covid-19 coronavirus: hardship and force majeure – a Belgian analysis

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Tom Schoors

Managing Partner Belgium


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Image of Eline Ulrix
Eline Ulrix

Senior Associate


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25 March 2020

The rapid and global spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus and the resultant governmental strategies are having an increasingly disruptive effect on our daily lives, and also on global supply chains, including in Belgium.

Disruption means a potential breach of contractual obligations and delays in performance, and raises the question of who assumes the risk of contractual non-performance caused by this crisis. The question of risk allocation can be resolved by considering the concepts of force majeure and/or hardship. These are legal and contractual concepts that are heavily dependent on the facts and require a case-by-case analysis.

This publication will address the applicable rules on force majeure and hardship under Belgian law, how these concepts may be affected by specific contractual provisions, and some steps you could consider taking to better protect your business in its current and future contractual dealings.