Spread of COVID-19 and Its Impact on Russian Law Contracts

27 March 2020
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Key takeaways:

The spread of COVID-19 has had an undeniable impact on both transactions that have been concluded and transactions being negotiated. The spread of COVID-19 brings the following questions to the fore in respect of the conclusion and performance of transactions:

  • whether it is possible to terminate a contract the performance of which has become impeded or impossible (including grounds and procedure of termination);
  • whether it is possible to renegotiate the terms and conditions of a contract, including in respect of the period allowed for its performance, price, methods of performance, etc.;
  • whether it is possible to rely on existing circumstances to secure a release from liability for the failure to perform or duly perform any obligations;
  • what caveats and provisions should be included in the terms of proposed transactions to reduce the risks of various adverse consequences in respect of the performance of contracts in the future in light of the impossibility of predicting (i) the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or (ii) what measures or actions will be taken by the competent governmental authorities in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

We present our discussion of the above issues under Russian law and practical recommendations based on such discussion.