Partner Vanessa Miller was quoted in a SupplyChainBrain article, “Force Majeure Isn’t Always the Excuse That Suppliers Think It Is,” about the need to be vigilant about what is covered by such a contract.
Miller said many contracts fail to address anomalies such as extreme heat waves, which can affect production well beyond the time they occur. “Some of these contracts just talk about circumstances outside the parties’ control without specifics,” she said.
Miller also said force majeure should not be treated as cut-and-paste language that can be dropped into any contract. The parties need to think about such things as the duration of the agreement, who is being contracted for the work, and where production is to be sited.
The time for ensuring effective force majeure language is when the supplier is first engaged, a discussion buyers may be more amenable to having if it’s tied to the price of the goods, Miller added. “That’s the time to create the whole package,” she said.