How will Brexit affect your commercial contracts?

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How will Brexit affect your commercial contracts?

18 Jul 2016

Welcome to the first in our series of five instalments on the legal implications of Brexit on your commercial contracts, by Kuits’ Commercial and Intellectual Property partner, Martin Lewis.

These articles will seek to cover the potential issues that Brexit may create for businesses, and what can be done about them in preparation.
Generally most standard UK contract provisions have been untouched by EU law, however there are some potentially significant exceptions.

Here are Martin Lewis’ top five:

1. Force majeure & frustration
2. Change of law/regulatory regimes
3. Competition law
4. Grant-Funded Projects
5. Data Protection & the GDPR

>This first will guide you through number one.

1. Force Majeure & Frustration

• Context: 

– FM clauses/frustration can, in some circumstances, provide an excuse for non-performance of contract obligations
– Brexit could potentially be claimed as such an FM/frustrating event

• Potential issues:

– As a consequence, you may no longer get what you expected; or
– You may not be able to perform, and may need to claim an excuse

• Things to do now:

– Check: Does Brexit make it problematic for either party to perform any of your material contracts?
– Take advice if you need to seek FM/frustration relief yourself

• Things to watch out for in the future:

– Future contacts – ensure that they address clearly whether Brexit will, or will not, qualify as such an excusing event for future obligations.

If you’d like to get in touch with Martin regarding any of the above please contact us or call 0161 832 3434.

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