Impact of Covid-19 On Business Contracts

by Prof Catherine Tay Swee Kian

Why You Should Attend This Course

The Covid-19 pandemic has unprecedented impact on markets, supply chains, trade and businesses. Business disputes inevitably arises from economic stress. Legal disputes arise in contracts that are impacted by the inability to perform contractual obligations because of broken supply chains or lockdown rules under the Infectious Diseases law.

This talk discusses the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and contracts under the new laws “Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act”. Businesses affected by Covid-19 should evaluate 1) existing and new contracts to comply with the latest Infectious Disease Laws and 2) what you should know about the new Covid-19 laws and regulations.

These new laws provide relief to individuals and biz firms who are unable to perform their contractual obligations materially caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This applies to contracts on or before 24 March 2020 and also cover contractual obligations performed on or after 1 February 2020. If due to quarantine or stay home notice, and a business event have to be postponed, their deposit cannot be forfeited. Commercial rents in landlord and tenant scenarios are due only 6 months later, so as to allow businesses to continue to meet their contractual obligations, without risking to pay damages for breach of contract. The new law suspends only and do not remove parties’ contractual obligation.

Can the Covid-19 outbreak excuse businesses from performing their contractual duties on the ground of frustration or force majeure? Learn also how to:

  • Protect yourself from the impact of Covid-19 outbreak by negotiating for a force majeure clause.
  • What is this common law doctrine of frustration under contract law?
  • What are the consequences of frustration? ·       
  • What are the categories of frustrating events in contract law? ·
  • Can you use electronic signatures including scanned signature, in place of wet signatures? Since Covid-19 measures to prevent spread such as “safe distancing” may cause difficulties in obtaining traditional “wet ink” signatures. 
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) of e-signing and virtual signing will be discussed.
  • For workplace safety and health, the employers’ obligations to their workforce when facing Covid-19 will be discussed.  

Course materials will be given to learners, which are useful and invaluable references.Participants will also benefit from the interactive sessions with the lecturer who is a well-known author of book titles such as “Infectious Diseases Law & Sars” and “Contract Law – A Layman’s Guide”.

  1. Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act
  • Scheduled contracts under coverage
  • Secured loan agreements to SME
  • Event & tourism related contracts
  • Construction contracts and supply contracts
  • Hire-purchase and conditional sales agreements
  • Leases and licences of non-residential property
  • Type of contracts covered
  • Notification for relief
  • Prohibited legal actions
  • Assessors
  • Just & equitable outcome
  1. Doctrine of Frustration Under Common Law
  • Frustrating events
  • Consequences of frustration
  • Frustrated Contracts Act
  • Self-induced frustration
  • Force Majeure Clause
  • The Practicalities of Force Majeure Analysis
  • Mitigation efforts
  • Insurance and other perils
  • Sharing best practices
  1. Leases and Licences of Commercial Property
  • Relief under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act
  • Prohibited legal actions
  • Can tenants withhold rent or terminate leases?
  • Property tax rebates
  • How benefit is pass on to tenants?
  • Disputes on transfer of property tax benefits
  1. Construction Contracts and Supply Contracts
  • Covid-19 built environment sector
  • How to seek relief from paying Liquidated Damages due to delay caused by Covid-19
  • Notification of relief
  • Panel of assessors’ determination
  • Extension of time
  • Covid-19 law gives defence for delay materially caused by Covid-19
  • Practical Tips
  • Calling on performance bonds
  1. E-signatures V Wet Ink Signatures
  • Wet ink signatures – traditional signature
  • What is virtual signing?
  • What is e-signing?
  • What is electronic signature?
  • Can e-signatures be used in contracts?
  • Can use e-signature to sign a deed?
  1. Workplace Measures and Employment Contracts
  • Infectious Disease Act
  • Safe distancing rules
  1. AGMs and EGMs
  • Digital tools to conduct meetings
  • Limit scale and notice on number of attendees
  1. PDPA
  • Collection of personal data for contract tracing purposes?
  1. Anti-Trust Laws and Competition Laws
  • How to cope with Covid-19 without breaking the competition laws?
  • Examples of industry collaboration with anti-trust risks & anti-competitive agreements

Prof Catherine Tay Swee Kian is an Associate Professorial Fellow lecturing law at the National University of Singapore, Department of Strategy and Policy (NUS Business School). She is also an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and an author of several law books, including contract law book. She is a Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, United Kingdom.

Prof Tay studied law at Queen Mary College, University of London and graduated with a Master of Laws, in which she specialised in Company, Shipping, Insurance and Marine Insurance Laws. She did her pupillage under the Honourable Lady Mary Hogg in London and returned to Singapore in the law firm of Rodyk & Davidson.

Prof Tay was on the Board of Overseas Editors for the (United Kingdom) Journal of Financial Crime, an official publication of the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. She has presented papers at many conferences and seminars on Business Law, Medical Law, Company and Insolvency Laws both overseas and in Singapore. Prof Tay is an examiner on law subjects for a number of professional bodies in Singapore and overseas. She also conducts in-house seminars for hospitals, banks, statutory boards, hotels, commercial firms and companies, clubs and associations.


21 Oct 2021

Course Fee


The class offers in-class or virtual learning
  • Time: 9am – 5pm
  • MIS Member enjoy 10% Discount
  • Register for 8 or more participants to enjoy 10% Group Discount