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Force majeure clauses are included in contracts to avoid a party being liable forany breach outside of its control (e.g. a flood). The Court of Appeal has recently ruled on two interesting points that arose from a force majeure claim: a party seeking to exclude liability because of a force majeure event will, generally, be expected to prove that it would have performed the contract but forthe force majeure event; and if that party would have breached the contract regardless of the force majeure event then it will not be able to reduce its liability by claiming that the innocent party has not lost anything that it would not have lost because of the force majeure event.
See News Analysis: Contractual exception clauses, force majeure, causation and damages (Classic Maritime v Limbungan Makmur)
The Court of Appeal has emphasised the importance of complying with any detailed provisions concerning the notice of a claim. In this case the buyer of a business failed to clearly reference its claim as a tax claim as required by the share purchase agreement. The Court rejected the buyer’s argument that separate letters that it had sent to the sellers could be construed as meeting the notice requirements.
See News Analysis: Unilateral notice was not notice of tax claim (Stobart Group and another v Stobart & Tinkler)
The law economic duress was developed to stop strong businesses exerting unfair pressure on weaker party. A recent Court of Appeal case, however, has ruled that it will only apply when the business exerting the pressure is doing so in bad faith.
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Louisa leads marketing for the in-house legal community at LexisNexis. She joined the dedicated in-house team at LexisNexis four years ago and has a passion for driving and facilitating initiatives which are customer-focused at their heart. Her vision is to support in-house counsel succeed in their fast-evolving role based on deep insight, data analysis and best practice gathered across the in-house community.
Prior to her in-house focused role, Louisa led the marketing for the bar and mid-market private practice sectors as well as product marketing lead for LexisPSL – LexisNexis’ cloud based, practical guidance and legal research software solution.
She brings 20 years’ marketing experience both client and agency side, specialising in B2B marketing in the Legal, TMT (Telco, Media and Technology) and Financial Services industries. In both South Africa, Europe and the UK.
Louisa is also an active member on the LexisNexis Gender Equality Matters (GEM) steering committee and is involved with the Families at LexisNexis Group which brings together, supports and lobbies for change those with an interest in balancing the challenges of work and family.
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