Frustration and Force Majeure



Author: Professor Edwin Peel

Edition: 4th edition

ISBN: 9780414098558

Published by: Sweet & Maxwell


Publication Date: 15 Dec 2021



Examines the conflict between contractual obligations and the ability to discharge such obligations in the light of supervening events

-          Discusses in detail the development and application of the doctrine of Frustration within the law of contract

-          Deals clearly with the purpose, nature and construction of Force Majeure and similar clauses

-          Contains a comparative element to the narrative which looks at foreign systems for rules, concepts and examples with which an evaluation of the English rules can be made

-          Contains an examination of the concept of impossibility distinguishing between various types of impossibility and between impossibility and impracticability

-          Covers “frustration of purpose” and illegality including supervening prohibitions, interference with performance and qualified prohibition, all of which are discussed in detail

-          Assesses the importance and effect of factors such as the passing of risk, foreseeability and whether frustration is “self-induced”

-          Discusses the legal consequences of frustration at common law, as modified by legislation


Professor Peel in this new 4th edition:

-          Discusses 70 new cases decided in England and in other common law jurisdictions

-          Examines the impact on the law relating to frustration of recent cases arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic and “Brexit”

-          Discusses the relation, in cases of an employee’s supervening disability, between common law frustration and the employer’s duty (under the Equality Act 2010) to make reasonable adjustments

-          Examines cases in frustration such as the Canary Wharf case (2019) (Brexit), the Cine-UK case (2021) (Covid-19), the Blankley case (2015) (incapacity and agency contracts) the Gemcorp case (2018) (fluctuating currency exchange), and the Spicejet and Salam Air cases (2021) (“hell or high water clauses”)

-          Examines cases on Force Majeure clauses such as the Classic Maritime case (2019) (“contractual frustration” clauses and “exceptions” clauses and the requirements of causation), the Seadrill case (2018) (“reasonable endeavours”), and the Dwyer case (2021) (party designated force majeure and implied obligations of good faith)

-          Discusses the first direct consideration of the interpretation of a “material adverse effect” clause in the Travelport case (2020)

-          Re-examines “theories” of frustration in the light of recent judicial opinions

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