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Force Majeure Clause Nullifies Consignment Agreement

U.S. federal court rules COVID-19 pandemic is a “natural disaster”

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the art world in many ways, including making it difficult, if not impossible, for art businesses to meet their contractual obligations. To protect their bargaining position, many auction houses include a force majeure provision in their agreements which, depending on its phrasing, may allow one or both parties to terminate the agreement upon the occurrence of a force majeure event as defined within the agreement. Does COVID-19 constitute a “natural disaster”

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