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Terminating commercial contracts in Great Britain is possible under certain circumstances. Entering into a contract in Great Britain provides both parties with a right to terminate a contract, provided a serious violation is committed by the other party. 

SAP agreements can be valid for several years; however, purchasers aren’t obliged to report  terminating a contract in Great Britain & may simply stop accepting future orders.


If a contract says nothing about its validity term, it’s assumed that it’s perpetual & immutable. However, that presumption is gradually being discarded & British courts are now mainly considering the way agreements are drawn up. No identical rule exists for contracts with a fixed term. If it was parties’ intention to conclude a contract in Great Britain for a specific period, their intention may be recognized as valid by courts.

A notification term for termination of open-ended contracts is determined on a case-by-case basis. Basically, it’s determined by taking into account circumstances that existed when a common law contract was terminated. In particular, it requires taking into consideration:

  • term of relations;
  • financial status;
  • duration required for replacement of a lost business (for terminating parties);
  • capital investments.

Termination Upon Insolvency

There’s no general provision for termination of commercial agreements in Great Britain If insolvency is declared by either party. Likewise, no party may be relieved of contractual obligations simply due to experiencing financial hardships.

Preventing such a situation from happening requires including a special clause in their agreements allowing one of them to terminate contracts because of the insolvency of the other party.

Should either party find themselves in financial distress, no legal limitations on terminating contracts are applied. Such situations are regulated by contractual terms, with either party being allowed to break a contract due to financial hardships (if a clause like that is contained in a contract). 

Circumstances Beyond Parties’ Control

Force majeure is recognized as justification for terminating a contract in Great Britain. Pursuant to English law, force majeure must be specified in a contract & include these events:

  • combustion;
  • inundation;
  • pandemics;
  • hostilities.

Normally, a special clause suspending performance of injured parties’ obligations is included in contracts (though such obligations are considered unfulfilled). Should circumstances beyond parties’ control persist, contracts are considered invalid. Frequently, emergency provisions get spelled out in such a fashion that either party may terminate in Great Britain contracts after a specified duration of force majeure events.

Unlike other civil law systems, common law doesn’t have any equivalent to the doctrine of rebus sic stantibus. Depending on specific circumstances, it allows for suspension or modification of contractual obligations in England. Force majeure circumstances are purely contractual & determined by formulation of force majeure events.


To sum up, terminating contractual agreements in Great Britain is possible if a violation of its provisions is committed. If its validity period isn’t specified, cancellation of contracts in Great Britain occurs upon prior notice. 

Should you require more information on termination or cancellation of agreements in Great Britain, do not hesitate to contact IQ Decision UK. Our team of experts are going to be happy to lend you a hand with this & many other matters related to regulation of agreements in Great Britain.