It is not often that good weather puts a spanner in the works! This weekend however it did. Humf. I had decided at short notice to take a stand at a big exhibition over 150 miles away which promised to have a big audience of entrepreneurs. Thousands possibly. Perfect. I worked away into the night getting my leaflets ready, all of the paraphernalia for the stand, hotel rooms for the night before, booked staff to help on the day, the works.
Then came the dreaded weather forecast compounded by headline news in all the papers: “Heat wave this weekend!” and “Head for the beaches!” As soon as I saw them I knew we were doomed. Sure enough, people did head for the beaches rather than come to the exhibition and I don’t blame them. Sniff.
Putting my legal (sun!) hat on, it did lead me to think about the interesting topic of ‘force majeure’ –this is when someone can get out of their obligations under a contract because of something that is beyond their control. Examples of this would be the ash cloud which stopped all flights and interrupted business; another would be if a bolt of lightening hits your factory and you are unable to deliver. Usually we lawyers like to include as many examples as possible in the ‘force majeure’ clause just to be on the safe side. These are usually quite negative events like storms, terrorist attacks, strikes, lock-outs etc. However, I have never seen ‘exceptionally good weather’ included! Technically I was promised a crowd, but the crowd never showed up… maybe organisers of exhibitions and major events should cover themselves for rain or shine?
I would be interested to know of any other events you have come across beyond your control, especially good ones!