Notwithstanding in a Contract

Notwithstanding in a Contract: What It Means and How It Works

Contracts are important legal documents that outline the terms and conditions of an agreement between two or more parties. Within a contract, you may come across the word “notwithstanding,” but what does it mean, and how does it affect the agreement?

What Does “Notwithstanding” Mean?

The term “notwithstanding” is a legal term that means “in spite of” or “despite.” It is often used in contracts to indicate that a certain clause or provision is unaffected by another part of the contract or by external circumstances.

For example, if a contract includes a provision that states that the parties agree to use binding arbitration to resolve any disputes, a “notwithstanding” provision might state that this requirement still stands even if one party initiates legal proceedings in court. In this case, the “notwithstanding” provision ensures that the arbitration clause is not rendered invalid or unenforceable if a party chooses to disregard it and take legal action instead.

How Does a “Notwithstanding” Clause Work?

A “notwithstanding” clause is typically included in a contract to provide clarity and certainty regarding a particular provision’s enforceability. It establishes that even if there are other provisions or external factors that might suggest the provision in question would not apply, it still does.

For example, if a contract includes a clause that requires one party to provide notice to the other party before terminating the agreement, a “notwithstanding” clause might state that this notice requirement still applies even if the termination is due to a breach of contract by the other party.

Importance of Understanding “Notwithstanding” Clauses in Contracts

It’s crucial to understand “notwithstanding” clauses in contracts as they can significantly impact the parties’ legal rights and obligations. A “notwithstanding” clause can override other provisions in a contract or even statutory law, so failure to comprehend its implications could result in misunderstanding or disputes.

It’s also essential to carefully review “notwithstanding” clauses before signing a contract to ensure they align with your interests and expectations. If you have any doubts or concerns about the implications of such clauses, it’s advisable to seek legal advice before signing the agreement.


In conclusion, “notwithstanding” provisions in contracts serve as an essential tool for clarifying and protecting the parties’ rights and obligations. They ensure that specific provisions remain enforceable despite other contradictory provisions or external circumstances that may arise. Therefore, it’s critical to understand the implications of these clauses to avoid misunderstandings and disputes.