In two important recent cases, the English court has clarified its approach to the interpretation of force majeure clauses and causation. Since force majeure clauses are ubiquitous in energy-sector contracts, these cases provide valuable guidance to those drafting such clauses and to parties assessing their rights under them.
The particular causation issues that arose in these cases were: (a) whether causation is satisfied where there are concurrent causes of a failure or inability to perform contractual obligations; and (b) whether a “but for” test of causation should be applied. Useful light is also shed on the obligation to use “reasonable endeavours” to avoid or overcome force majeure.
Read the full article written by Malcolm Jarvis below.
Please note: This material was first published by Thomson Reuters, trading as Sweet & Maxwell, 5 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AQ, in International Energy Law Review (and on WLUK) as “Force Majeure and Causation”  I.E.L.R. 18 and is reproduced by agreement with the publishers. For further details of International Energy Law Review, please see the publishers’ website.