Pandemic Focuses a Spotlight on Force Majeure

July 2, 2021Media Mention

Real Estate Partner, Kevin Sher, was featured in article "Pandemic Focuses a Spotlight on Force Majeure." Sher shares insight on how force majeure did not include pandemics prior to 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic caused people to go back to their lease or incentives clause to read what it says. 


“In terms of force majeure, specifically, there had always been a boilerplate provision at the back of a lease and not really thought much about. Or sometimes it was not included at all until this [the pandemic] came about,” Sher says.

“Of course, many times they would find it made no mention of the pandemic,” Sher says. “Other times, they would find in leases that it was only a unilateral excuse where the landlord’s actions would be excused by virtue of force majeure. But the tenant had absolutely no excuse for any type of force majeure, whether or not the pandemic was mentioned.”

“There really wasn’t much thought, in my opinion, put into a lot of these force majeure clauses,” Sher says. “They had been clauses that had been shuffled around in contracts for decades and not dusted off because no widespread event had come to pass, like this pandemic, that shut things down.”

“On office leases, I’m seeing tenants markup the force majeure [clause],” he says. “Normally, most of these clauses would say even if it excuses performance by tenant of other obligations, it doesn’t excuse their payment of rent.”

Read the full article here.