Force Majeure Clause
The principal purpose of a force majeure clause is to temporarily exempt one or both of the parties to a contract from their contractual obligations where an "act of god" or other event beyond the parties' control intervenes.
Force majeure is usually given a special definition. For example:
"Force Majeure Event" means an event, or a series of related events, that is outside the reasonable control of the party affected (including power failures, industrial disputes affecting any third party, changes to the law, disasters, explosions, fires, floods, riots, terrorist attacks and wars).
All obligations may be suspended, or only a subset of obligations. This example clause suspends all obligations other than payment obligations:
Where a Force Majeure Event gives rise to a failure or delay in either party performing its obligations under this Agreement (other than obligations to make payment), those obligations will be suspended for the duration of the Force Majeure Event.
A party who may be able to take advantage of the protection afforded by a force majeure clause may be obliged to keep the other informed of the situation:
A party who becomes aware of a Force Majeure Event which gives rise to, or which is likely to give rise to, any failure or delay in performing its obligations under this Agreement, will: (a) forthwith notify the other; and (b) inform the other of the period for which it is estimated that such failure or delay will continue.That party may also be obliged to mitigate the effects of the event:
The affected party will take reasonable steps to mitigate the effects of the Force Majeure Event.