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30 March 2020 / article

Covid-19: legal impact on Dutch law contracts

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant and immediate effect on many businesses in different industries. Businesses may be facing disruptions, delays and financial difficulties. This is an entirely new and unprecedented situation with a potentially severe impact on the ability to perform contractual obligations. Our Litigation & Risk Management team has prepared pointers for you on certain contractual provisions in and legal remedies for Dutch law contracts with a view on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note that this page and the article below were published in March 2020 and do not reflect developments in COVID-19 case law after that date.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant and immediate effect on many businesses in different industries. Businesses may be facing disruptions, delays
and financial difficulties. This is an entirely new and unprecedented situation with a potentially severe impact on the ability to perform contractual obligations.

This document addresses certain contractual provisions and legal remedies that may be triggered in, or in relation to, Dutch law contracts as a result of the COVID-19
pandemic. More specifically, our high-level pointers will address the following topics:

  • characteristics of Dutch contract law;
  • contractual force majeure, MAC and other risk allocation mechanisms;
  • force majeure under Dutch contract law;
  • unforeseen circumstances;
  • reasonableness and fairness.

How these provisions and remedies may play out depends on the specific circumstances of your particular contract and situation. When you review and consider your options,
please make sure to take into account any industry specific developments as well. Peers or industry organizations may adopt what you might call ‘best practices’ to address the
impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download the pdf-version here



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