Force Majeure

We’ve all come across Force Majeure clauses in contracts and probably not really given them a second thought. Earlier this year the ‘beast from the east’ gave many people a bit of a wake up call and last weekend’s hottest London Marathon ever proved that it’s not only wet and cold weather that we should be concerned about, but in many ways, extreme weather is the last thing we should fret over when it comes to Force Majeure clauses as it may never happen.

In contrast, everyone dies – even the Royal Family – and most Force Majeure clauses will include National Mourning. Do YOU have a plan in place for how you will respond when The Queen dies? Very few people who are still working will recall life before she took the throne and when we consider the 24-hour news cycle that’s come about during her reign and the advent of social media, there is no precedent for how quickly the news will spread or for how businesses should respond when this happens. If you’re sat in your office late one evening, the night before a big event, and a BBC News Alert pings up on your phone, do you have a policy in place for whether your event will go ahead? For who will make the decision? For how you will communicate whatever your decision is?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to establishing your response – it will depend on your event, your audience, your stakeholders and many other unique factors – but for something that we know will happen SOMETIME, isn’t it crazy not to have a policy in place and save yourself a lot of stress and frantic phone calls when it happens?

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