Terminating your contract: When can you call it quits?

Parties to commercial contracts may wish to exit their contractual arrangements for all sorts of reasons. In many cases, they will have included in their contract a right to terminate in particular circumstances, and a process for doing so. Even where there is no express right to terminate, parties may be entitled to terminate under … Read more

Court of Appeal finds no binding settlement reached, emphasising importance of “subject to contract” label

In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal has overturned a deputy judge’s decision that a binding settlement agreement had been reached in inter-solicitor correspondence despite the use of the “subject to contract” label: Joanne Properties Ltd v Moneything Capital Ltd [2020] EWCA Civ 1541. The decision illustrates that, once parties have started to negotiate … Read more

Court of Appeal construes Farm-Out Agreement and Joint Operating Agreement together as a cohesive whole

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against a decision interpreting the provisions of a Farm-Out Agreement for the sale of an interest in two oil production licences: Apache North Sea Limited v (1) Euroil Exploration Limited & (2) Edison S.p.A [2020] EWCA Civ 1397. Herbert Smith Freehills LLP represented the successful defendants/respondents, Euroil Exploration Limited … Read more

Force majeure considerations in the “second wave” of Covid-19

When we originally published this article in April we used the term “potential” in respect of a second wave of Covid-19. Back then many countries were contemplating an easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions following a downturn in cases, and a second wave was discussed as a possibility. In the six months since, we have seen … Read more

When events intervene: Force majeure, frustration and material adverse change

When events take a dramatic turn, parties may be left unable to perform their contractual obligations, or may find that their counterparty is unable or unwilling to perform. In such circumstances, a party may be able to rely on contractual provisions, such as a force majeure or material adverse change (MAC) clause, to suspend its … Read more

Commercial Court considers contractual estoppel, entire agreement clauses and declaratory relief in dispute relating to 1992 ISDA Master Agreement

The Commercial Court has granted declaratory relief concerning a bank’s rights under an interest rate hedging arrangement governed by the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement: BNP Paribas SA v Trattamento Rifiuti Metropolitani SPA [2020] EWHC 2436 (Comm). The decision is of particular interest for the court’s finding that it was appropriate to grant a declaration that certain non-reliance … Read more