Claire Banks

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Brexit and your contracts

Corporate and Commercial / 03 June 2019

With Brexit now delayed, probably until 31 October 2019, it is not too late to review your commercial contracts to see if they can be made Brexit-proof.

Giving thought to possible scenarios such as “what would happen if your shipment of raw material is delayed at the UK border on Brexit day” or “what if the movement of your freight during Brexit incurs additional expense”, could help you to prepare your business.

A force majeure clause is often included in a contract to allow one or both parties to be excused from performing the contract if an event occurs which is outside their control. So, could Brexit be considered a force majeure event?

The effects of Brexit may mean that a commercial contract becomes more expensive or more difficult to perform, but it is unlikely that Brexit would be considered a force majeure event.

If you think your business might be susceptible to the effects of Brexit, the extension to the leaving date means that it is not too late and now is an ideal time to revisit existing commercial contracts to ensure they offer adequate protection for your business. You should also consider practical measures such as stockpiling key materials and components; seeking alternative supply options; or taking steps to protect against changes in the exchange rate.

We can assist you with what can be done to prepare for Brexit. If you have any questions, please do get in touch.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email:

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