CMS Expert Guide to Force Majeure

COVID-19, known as coronavirus, is dominating global news and everyday life has changed immeasurably in recent weeks with some countries experiencing complete lock-downs and closed borders. This has caused sales to stagnate, the supply of goods to become difficult and an overall decline in the economy. Due to the unexpected and rapid outbreak of the virus, it is understandable that companies are now looking to rely on force majeure provisions in their commercial contracts to excuse delay or non-performance.

The laws on force majeure differ from country to country. Some countries do not recognise the term force majeure in law and therefore contractual parties are free to regulate its meaning between themselves. In other countries, the law contains a specific meaning for force majeure that is not open to interpretation by the parties themselves. In this guide you will find a useful overview of the meaning and interpretation of force majeure across European jurisdictions. Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any questions or comments.


Dirk Loycke
Dirk Loycke
Rechtsanwalt | Global Co-Head of Commercial Group, CMS
Picture of Aukje Haan
Aukje Haan
Attorney at law | Global Co-Head of Commercial Group, CMS