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The Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Real Estate Contracts: Force Majeure, Frustration of Purpose, and Impossibility

By George P. Bernhardt and Jack Fersko

George P. Bernhardt is managing counsel-global real estate at Baker Hughes Company in Houston, Texas, a member of the Section’s Council, co-chair of the Leasing Group, and member of the Continuing Legal Education Committee. Jack Fersko is a partner at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP in Roseland, New Jersey, a member of the Section’s Council, and vice chair of the Groups and Substantive Committees Committee.

Many are calling the current pandemic “an unprecedented event of force majeure” or “the very definition of force majeure.” Before reaching that conclusion, however, a closer examination of the issues is required.

This article reviews the concepts of force majeure, frustration of purpose, and impossibility.

This article reviews the concepts of force majeure, frustration of purpose, and impossibility.

(credit IStockphoto)

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