The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China, has spread beyond China's borders to dozens of countries, infecting tens of thousands of people and causing a mounting number of fatalities. In addition to the humanitarian and public health dimensions of the outbreak, the coronavirus crisis presents complex legal issues for companies, including employment-law, tort, contract, insurance, disclosure, and other considerations.

Companies should consider how to protect their employees and their productivity without running afoul of employment regulations, while at the same time making required disclosures, evaluating the extent to which insurance can mitigate losses, and protecting themselves from potential liability risks. Further, companies should consider whether disruptions to their or their counterparties' ability to fulfill contractual obligations are sufficient to trigger force majeure.

This White Paper offers a broad overview of some of the outbreak-related legal issues that companies around the world may face.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.