Blog Post

On the Rim of Force Majeure – NBA & Others Dive Into Contracts

November 6, 2020

Highly anticipated news broke Thursday night, not a decision in the US presidential election, but rather the vote outcome of the National Basketball Association (NBA) 2020-21 season. Legal analysts, legal teams, and NBA fans alike are diving into the plan approved by the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) board of representatives, which includes a season tip-off of December 22, and a reduced 72-game schedule.

Why are legal analysts and legal teams interested in the NBA season? The negotiations and contract implications have been highly anticipated since the beginning of COVID-19 across many industries due to a clause known as Force Majeure.

Force Majeure is a clause that is enacted when unforeseeable circumstances, prevent someone from fulfilling a contract. For the NBA, the NBPA, and television networks – this clause means billions of dollars in reduced revenue, and increased legal fees. Discussion of this clause started to spread throughout sports media back in March when the NBA first suspended its season – after one of the players tested positive for COVID-19. The 2019-20 season resumed in July, after building a “bubble” to protect teams, referees, media, and fans. However, questions over the next season, and the games guaranteed within contracts were already being asked.

NBA, NBPA, and television networks aren’t the only one’s concerned with Force Majeure. Law firms and Corporate legal teams in various industries are reviewing their contracts and assessing what is at stake. But how are other legal teams handling COVID-19’s impact on their contracts?

Law firms and corporate legal teams have been diving into their contracts to decipher what the implications of this pandemic will cost them. In a previous blog post, COVID-19’s Impact on Law Firm Operations: What’s Next? we outlined the big changes to legal operations.

While the latest NBA plan and agreement appear to avoid the need to invoke Force Majeure (for the time being) many others are still reviewing contracts, and coming up with a game plan. Here is how Exigent has helped our clients:

Contract Management Software – Many technology solutions may digitize contracts – but Exigent’s Solution includes legal experts, tagging, and categorizing contracts that enable your team to understand and evaluate the contract portfolio as a whole.

Litigation Support – legal teams and law firms had a full-time job before COVID-19 and the addition of eDiscovery and contract review brought on by pandemic has not made their jobs easier. Our legal professional team can offload the brunt of administrative or manual tasks at an affordable cost

Need help with your game plan?  We’re here to help – contact us to speak with our legal business development consultants today.