Over the weekend it was almost impossible to turn on the television without seeing something about the Qantas turmoil and how it has left tens of thousands of travelers stranded around the World. Without a doubt this has not just been problematic for people on vacation – indeed if your business is travel-critical and depends on the prompt delivery of goods or your staff commuting via Qantas’ flights, you might have been thinking about what course of action you should take come Monday morning, when as a result of the grounding of Qantas’ flights, you cannot perform your contractual obligations to your customers.

The first thing to do is to get your contract reviewed. The parties to a contract may expressly (and in some cases, impliedly) provide in the contract that the occurrence of a particular event (for example, a strike, embargo or industrial action) will result in the suspension of a party’s duty to perform its contractual obligations under the contract. These contractual provisions are typically known as force majeure clauses. There may be other ways to extricate yourself from your contractual obligations.

Disclaimer: This blog is for general informational purposes only. It is not legal advice nor is it a substitute for legal advice. Readers should seek legal advice on their own particular circumstances. Alan Arnott is a technology & telecommunications lawyer with qualifications in computer science and law with Arnotts Lawyers Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney. For more information, please visit www.arnotts.net.au.

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