To our Clients, Partners, Staff and Stakeholders
The developing Corona-crisis has an impact on the economy, politics and cultural and social matters. We are, at RoH Attorneys fully aware of the new challenges. Our international offices report about local and international developments and we take all precautions to protect the interests of our clients, partners, staff and stakeholders etc.
While Courts reduce their activities, suspend their operations, we are focusing on the protection and enforcement of the rights and interests of our clients, worldwide. We work hard to protect our clients from risks resulting from these exceptional circumstances.
Our offices give great effort to remain operational while in some countries physical presence may be prohibited or not possible following governmental curfew or for reasons of protection of our staff. Modern communication technology allows our professionals to be connected, wherever they stay. Our aim is to continue to keep immediate response.
RoH Attorneys at Law is an international law firm serving clients with regards to all major aspects of Swiss, German and International Law.
Through our offices in Zurich, Zug, Berlin and London as well as many affiliated partner firms worldwide we provide our clients with international legal, corporate, fiduciary and finance services of the highest quality and professionalism.
The aim of RoH Attorneys at Law is to provide our clients with optimal solutions that fully suit their demands.
COVID-19 and the Liberating Effect of Force Majeur in Contracts and Obligations
Dear clients, partners and friends
We are all experiencing the COVID-19 crisis as a never-experienced period – a curfew, a lockdown – an economic, social, political imprisonment – for weeks and months. States are threatening the population and the economy with punishments, fines and incarceration.
Nationwide most industries are closed, workers and employees are sitting confined at home. Families, children are imprisoned. The simple walk in the street became a criminal act. Shops, restaurants, schools etc are forcefully closed. The population is not allowed to take their own health risk or is treated like incapable of protecting itself.
Some countries have imposed very strict rules, other countries applied less harsh rules or called just for the civic sense to act reasonably when a virus infection is threatening larger parts of the population.
It seems that many countries had to balance the values of loss of economic wealth with loss of lives – both ways suggest that human and material losses of incomparable magnitude will occur – now and/or, in particular, in the future.
What we understand and see clearly: the governmental actions and restriction have enormous impact on the personal and economic freedom. They create tremendous losses. These actions and restrictions, promulgated in form of laws and orders, are often based on constitutional and democratic principles and justified with alleged urgency and danger – similar to the reduction of freedom in times of war.
But obviously, there is no war. Even if the media and State propaganda promote the idea of a war – no, it is not a war. It is, as we understood and have sufficient credible reports since months, since the beginning of the crisis, an infectious, transmissible disease, which has a slightly higher mortality than the seasonal flues, whereas the impact is depending essentially on age, sex and a person’s pre-disposition.
As such, the various States’ measures and restrictions were beneficial to a minor part of the population, whereas the vast majority of the population was never at risk, was never even considerably ill and would not suffer from COVID-19 at all (50% of infected persons even did not know about their infection). A very minimal part of a fraction of the population was affected – in similar fashion as during a seasonable flu (which e.g. killed in Germany in the Winter 2017/28 over 25’000 people).
The States’ measures cannot be evaluated – comments suggest that they may have been reasonable and helped to reduce the propagation of COVID-19 – others suggest they were not helpful.
As well, the legal consequences of the States’ measures and restrictions cannot be evaluated – a State intervening so extensively into the freedom of people with the justification of protecting public interest must consider all reactions, factors and repercussions – on everyone!. The Public Law provides guidelines and conditions for the State’s possibility to act and the State’s responsibility – but it will be a long and difficult way to call for the State’s responsibility for eventual misjudgment and disproportionate or arbitrary measures.
A principle of Civil Law is that legal subjects cannot be bound to contracts and obligations in times of extreme changes of situations, such as wars and natural disasters – this concept is commonly called:
A legal mind would not understand how law could protect the claim of the landlord against the shop owner or against the restaurant owner, while both had their shop and restaurant doors closed by the State. The State protecting the population, in particular a minor part of the population, should as well protect the shop owner and the restaurant owner – yes, financial ruin can be as damageable and life threatening as an infection with COVID-19. So far, States did not act much with this regard and it will be a difficult task to engage the State’s responsibility under public law – and, therefore, the legal practitioner now has to find solutions for a balanced outcome between private subjects, such as landlord and restaurant owner, and has to apply legal instruments which are offered by the home country’ s civil laws.
RoH Attorneys at law are offering a wide service with regard to questions arising from business, commercial and banking law.
RoH Attorneys would offer to their clients a review of their contractual situation(s) with regard to and under the COVID-19 crisis – with view on the full spectrum of the local civil laws.
As soon as practicable, under the current governmental measures, we would be at disposal for a review to our clients’ legal and contractural situation resulting from COVID-19.
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