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Brexit frustration – update

We reported in our April 2019 edition (p27) on the interesting case where the HC had to consider whether potential departure by the UK from the EU was sufficient to satisfy the legal meaning of frustration – so would Brexit allow a party to avoid a contract or a lease?
 
The EMA entered into a 25-year lease in October 2014 of Canary Wharf premises but the lease did not contain a break clause (an issue that the EMA and its lawyers are no doubt sorely regretting). The EMA decided to relocate its HQ to Amsterdam on the basis that as an agency of the EU, its HQ must be in an EU member state. Thus, it no longer needed the Canary Wharf premises and tried to argue that the lease was frustrated by Brexit. The HC held that there was no frustration.
 
We reported that an appeal might be possible. However, the EMA has announced that it has settled its dispute and it will not appeal against the HC judgment. The fact that the CA will not consider this point will no doubt frustrate some lawyers!

 

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