April 29, 2011

Political Unrest and the Impact on Obligations in Commercial Contracts

Bangkok Post, Corporate Counsellor Column

Recent political events in Thailand have impacted the lives of many, some in tragic and permanent ways. The unrest, which led to a near complete shut-down of Bangkok’s Commercial Center, culminated in chaos and physical destruction, impacting many business operators. Basic public utility services such as electricity, water, and telephones were not available in many areas. For security reasons, banks were forced to close, roads were blocked, and businesses could not operate or were otherwise forced to implement emergency plans to continue operations. Under these unique circumstances are parties to commercial contracts still required to perform some or all of their obligations? Can the concept of force majeure offer a legitimate excuse for nonperformance?

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