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Brexit and contracts

If you have commercial contracts, particularly with entities within the EU, it would be prudent to review these contracts to assess the effect of the UK’s exit from the EU and the end of the transition period on your rights and obligations under these agreements.

Tom Prince, Commercial Senior Associate at CG Professional says:

“You should also assess very similar points when negotiating new contracts and should including contractual mechanisms to allow contracts to ‘flex’ to meet new requirements and circumstances which may arise out of the end of the transition period or as a new trading relationship develops.

“Some of the terms in your existing contracts may no longer be relevant post-Brexit or may raise legal or practical questions in the future. By way of example:

  • some contracts may include specific provisions for so-called ‘changes in law’ which can operate to allocate costs and risk associated with compliance;
  • parties relying on force majeure clauses and ‘frustration’ of contract if they are prevented from fulfilling their obligations as a result of new rules; and
  • whilst it is likely that some form of UK/EU harmonisation will be agreed in relation to the enforcement of contracts and the application of jurisdiction and governing law clauses, in the absence of this, it may become more difficult to enforce an English court judgment in the EU and vice versa.

“If your contracts such as terms of business, sale of goods, employment contracts etc. refer to the UK being a member state of the EU (e.g. any contracts with the EU as a defined ‘territory’) or rely on EU regulation (for example the General Data Protection Regulation), then they may need revising.”

We recommend that you contact your legal adviser and conduct a review of all your contracts and terms.


The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.

Posted by Cowgills
30th November, 2020
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