Helen Pugh: Breathing Space: the impact of a more consensual approach

29 June 2020

On 27 April 2020 the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) published Breathing Space – a Concept Note on the effect of the pandemic on commercial contracts. The central thesis is that to mitigate the damaging effects of COVID-19 on the global economy, private law should encourage compromise and mediation rather than a zero-sum rush to terminate contracts and then to litigation and arbitration. 

The Note acknowledges the need for the law to be predictable but states: ‘[i]n many jurisdictions procedural rules already encourage conciliation – can these be developed further to give a breathing space? The onus at least in the first instance would be for the continuance of a viable contract rather than bringing it to an immediate end.’  Such an approach has obvious implications for restructuring and insolvency.

Helen Pugh explores this futher in the following article - Corporate Rescue and Insolvency (2020) 3 CRI 97.