Commercial Contracts and the Pandemic – Conciliate or Litigate?

Cambridge Law Faculty published this video item, entitled “Commercial Contracts and the Pandemic – Conciliate or Litigate?” – below is their description.

Speaker: Professor Sir William Blair (Queen Mary, University of London) Chair: Louise Gullifer (University of Cambridge) Abstract: Force majeure and other issues are increasingly being seen in commercial contracts where the deepening economic effects of the pandemic are impeding performance. To avoid a “plethora of defaults” (Mario Draghi’s phrase) should we be looking at new ways of resolving disputes, or should be focus on how technology can accommodate legal proceedings even during lockdowns? Sir William Blair draws on the work of the “breathing space” project of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in discussing these issues. Bio: Sir William (Bill) Blair became a leading QC in the field of banking and finance law, and later Judge in Charge of London’s Commercial Court. He is now a member of the International Advisory and Dispute Resolution Unit (IADRU) at 3VB Chambers in London. Professor of Financial Law and Ethics at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, Bill is or has been a visiting Professor at the LSE and various other universities. On the dispute resolution side, as well as arbitration, he has various judicial roles in the Middle East and China, and is a qualified mediator. He is Chair of the Bank of England’s Enforcement Decision Making Committee (EDMC), and was the first President of the Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities. He chairs the Monetary Law Committee of the International Law Association, is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, a member of London’s Financial Markets Law Committee, and a Fellow of the Oxford University Commercial Law Centre. He chairs the Law and Ethics in Finance Project, an informal group concerned with raising standards in the financial sector. Bill is a Member of the Ethics Committee of Digital Catapult’s AI Machine Intelligence Garage. For more information, and resources to accompany the talk, please see:

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