Monday, November 5, 2012

Force Majeure: Legal Protection For Event Creatives When Natural Disasters Strike

When a force of nature like Sandy happens, it makes you sit back and take a look at how we operate under such situations. As a planner you always know to have a plan A, B and C. How many of us actually do that, and would something like Sandy fit in to any one of those plans?

The most important clause for any planner is the Force Majeure or Acts of God clause. It is usually at the end of our contracts – check venue and vendor contracts and you should see it. The clause basically states that failure to perform or carry out the duties specified in the contract cannot be held against you if caused by a Force Majeure. Sandy qualifies as an Act of God. And if you had an event planned on the East Coast last week – or even in the upcoming weeks, you can expect some of your vendors to pull out of their contracts using that clause.

So, you know you have the clause. What Happens Next? Here is a great piece on Force Majeure by The Law for Creatives. Read it as it will tell you how you can use it to help your business. Don’t get caught out by not having the clause, but most importantly make sure that you stipulate exactly what happens if a Force Majeure happens. You don’t want to be left paying your vendors out of pocket.