LexisNexis

The dark side of NDAs

Wednesday 7 August 2019
Rose McGowan

There's increasing pressure to clean up the widespread misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). These legal instruments have long been a fixture in commercial contracts, but are being criticised for silencing victims of sexual crimes and workplace misconduct.

NDAs attracted public attention as a result of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement. Recent national inquiries have further revealed their damaging impact – raising uncomfortable questions about the role of lawyers and prompting calls for stronger legal protections for employees.

Speaking exclusively to IBA Global Insight's Ruth Green are:

  • Maria Miller MP, Chair of the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Select Committee, which has revealed how NDAs have been used to cover up unlawful discrimination and harassment;
  • Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, who warns that confidentiality clauses often prevent companies from dealing with systemic issues; and
  • Zelda Perkins, the former assistant to Harvey Weinstein, who signed an NDA when working for the film producer and now advocates for their reform.