On February 28, the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire recognized the Coronavirus as "a case of force majeure for companies". The government wants to reassure and support the economy in this context of crisis.

Indeed, due to the epidemic, many economic actors are unable to meet their contractual obligations. How can artificial intelligence help you audit your contracts to analyze your commitments? Decryption in this article with the example of force majeure clauses and the coronavirus.

Force majeure in French law

Force majeure is an exceptional event that cannot be avoided. It is article 1218 of the civil code which defines it in contractual matters.

"Force majeure in contractual matters occurs when an event beyond the control of the debtor, which could not reasonably be foreseen at the time of the conclusion of the contract and the effects of which cannot be avoided by appropriate measures, prevents the debtor from performing his obligation."

Three conditions must be met to constitute force majeure:

  • Externality: the event is external to the persons involved and beyond their control.
  • Unpredictability: the event was not to be predicted, otherwise it could have been limited and the necessary measures taken.
  • Irresistibility: the event is insurmountable as in the case of natural disasters or political events.

This rule, laid down by the Civil Code, can be freely arranged by the parties who can choose to specify the conditions of force majeure according to the contractual provisions.

What about force majeure for contracts between private companies?

The Minister of the Economy specified that "for all public contracts of the State, if there is ever a delay in delivery on the part of SMEs or companies, we will not apply a penalty". One can legitimately ask what the consequences of this speech are in the context of commercial contracts and the non-respect of contractual obligations.

This implies, independently of the application of the article of the civil code, that each company will have to reread all of its contracts to verify and analyze the scope and meaning of its force majeure clause. This work can be very tedious and time consuming, especially in a context of economic and health emergency.


We propose to carry out a flash audit of your current contracts to help you better evaluate the impacts of Covid on your commitments and thus secure your contractual relations.

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Audit all your contracts with Hyperlex

Hyperlex, the contract management and analysis software assisted by Artificial Intelligence, allows you toaudit all of your contracts in a few clicks. With Hyperlex, your contractual database can be consulted at any time and from anywhere. Thanks to our intelligent search engine, you can easily find all the essential information in your contracts, such as insurance clauses, remuneration clauses, force majeure clauses, effective dates, etc. Our algorithms analyze each document, helping you gain speed while reducing your risk of errors.

How does a contract audit work?

Hyperlex uses character recognition technology (OCR) to translate contracts into editable and usable text. Then, our Artificial Intelligence is able to recognize all the important elements contained in a contract: type of contract, clauses, deadlines, amounts...

Thanks to this automatic identification of key data contained in your contracts, the search bar allows you to find all the contractual elements you need.

In addition, as a contract management and analysis specialist, Hyperlex helps you control your risks and commitments by increasing your visibility through other functionalities:

  • With one click, you have access to statistics on all your contractual activity presented in the form of a customizable dashboard to facilitate monitoring and decision making.
  • In addition, in Hyperlex you will find next to each contract, a summary sheet including all the important elements without having to enter the document.


Whether it's news such as the coronavirus, or new regulations such as the RGPD... whatever the situation, AI offers you greater reactivity in the audit of your contracts and helps you to be prepared for any eventuality!

Discover our dedicated guide: analyze your contracts in times of health crisis, activate the legal mechanisms to renegotiate, suspend or terminate your commitments by performing a quick audit of your contracts.


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