Corporate and M&A

With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening people’s health and wreaking economic havoc in California and worldwide, parties to commercial contracts are asking whether force majeure and the closely related doctrines of commercial impracticability and frustration of purpose, can avoid or suspend their obligations in a contract.

Read more: Force Majeure and COVID-19: Can Contracting Parties Avoid Performance or Continue to Require it?

Authors: Alexis Schostak, Mary Beth McGowan

On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which is supporting the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in administering the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and SBA issued preliminary guidance on the program and made available the form of application. Further guidance, such as additional modifications of the existing SBA affiliation rules for the program relating to whether employees of a related party are counted in the employee count, may be subsequently released.

Read more: Treasury Department Releases Preliminary PPP Guidance and Application

Authors: Ted Williams, Denise Burloff, Kate Hanson

On 11 March 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The WHO Director-General called on countries to “activate and scale up emergency response mechanisms”. Worldwide, government actions to limit contagion have escalated dramatically, and include lockdowns, travel restrictions, employee isolation and transport closures. Following our recent discussion on legal responses to supply chain disruption we discuss the broader issues as they affect contract obligations.

Read more: COVID-19 Pandemic, Force Majeure and Contract Relief: A Guide

Authors: Steven Ayr, Peter Caro, Edward V. Colbert, Jr., Renee Inomata, John T. Morrier, and Stéphanie Smith

Every day, Massachusetts businesses are facing new challenges, including those imposed by government actions, resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Most recently, Governor Charlie Baker ordered that all non-essential businesses be closed by noon on March 24, 2020, leaving many with just over 24 hours to address employee, customer, vendor, and landlord issues. Although we all hope that most will weather this crisis, these six questions are among the ones our multi-disciplinary team here at Casner & Edwards has been fielding.

Read more: 6 FAQs for Businesses Facing Economic Downturns Due to COVID-19