April Fools! Here's How to "Kaiju-Proof" Your Contracts With Better Force Majeure Clauses

By Tim Parilla

april-fools-day-scrabble-letters-word-on-a-purple--72EA563Everybody thinks their force majeure clauses in their contracts are harmless boilerplate until a global pandemic shuts down travel and commerce, an Icelandic volcano cripples air transit, or a sideways cargo ship blocks 10% of global sea trade. Your contractual vulnerability and your legal protection from the impacts of these unforeseeable disasters are spelled out in the force majeure clauses of all your legal agreements -- and the level of specificity in those clauses has never been more critical.

It's time to take a hard look at those clauses and see exactly what kind of Hollywood blockbuster awfulness is eligible for force majeure invocation. So, strange as it may seem, it's time to kaiju-proof your contracts.

Yes, kaiju, the giant city-wrecking monsters made famous in Japanese B-movies of the '50s and '60s (and now) are as likely as anything to be the next reason your vendors and customers try to terminate a contract. 

You may think it's silly now, but how many of you were left defenseless when the container ship Ever Given clogged the Suez Canal, only to "part the waters of Egypt" and break free on the second day of Passover?

Clearly, the screenwriters of reality have no chill, so absurd movie-style disasters are lying in wait to shock the global economy. 

Your contracts need to be ready.

That means looking for very specific line-items in your legal agreements that can invoke force majeure, including humongous radioactive pseudo-tyrannosaurs, mega-moths, and (of course) super-giant gorillas.

Now, sure, you could follow those conservative estimates from Cambridge's Center for the Study of Existential Risk, who think tired pitches like "climate change" and "nuclear war" and "rogue biotechnology" could pose more likely threats to human survival and economic stability. But your contracts probably already account for these "been there, done that" potential disasters.

And so far as a SkyNet scenario of rogue AI? Elon Musk has been chirping about that so long, there's no way the producers greenlight that for the next disaster.

If you want to truly prepare for the unexpected, "kaiju" is what you need to spell out in your contracts. Terms to audit your contracts for include:

  • Kaiju, which means monsters in general

  • Daikaiju, which specifically refer to giant monsters; don't want to end up splitting hairs with a lawyer about whether your kaiju attack featured a big enough beast

  • Kaijin, which refers to sea monsters; again, don't get nailed because your contract addressed land-dwelling but not aquatic kaiju

  • Seijin, which means space monsters; don't limit your protection to massive unidentified terrestrial organisms

  • Kaiju eiga, which refers to groups of monsters; a scale of disaster that demands specific contract protections

So, how do you find out if your force majeure clauses can handle everything from mundane catastrophes like volcanoes, plagues, and clogged canals to bizarre disasters like robot uprisings, alien invasions, and the arrival of hostile mega-fauna?

You use a cutting-edge contract analysis solution that can parse every document in your contract repository and report on any custom term - no matter how non-traditional or borderline absurd. You use LinkSquares.

Every company has unique needs that cookie-cutter tools can't meet, and you need a contract automation suite that can prepare you for every legal eventuality -- even giant monsters. If you're ready to prepare your contracts for even the most unlikely force majeure scenarios, contact LinkSquares today.