Q&A: What is an NDA?

Q.  Chris Evans was talking about NDA agreements on his radio show yesterday, what is an NDA?

A.  An NDA is a non disclosure agreement, otherwise known as a confidentiality agreement. The purpose of an NDA is to protect a party's information, for example trade secrets or intellectual property. A well drafted NDA will include restrictions on how such information may be used. From a business's perspective NDAs are a useful tool in various scenarios, for example negotiating a new deal, discussions of a potential merger or sale of a business.

You will also find that everyday contracts and arrangements contain certain obligations of confidentiality, for instance in an employment contract or in a standard set of terms and conditions. They can be drafted in favour of a particular party, for example the person disclosing the information, or they can be mutual. A duty to keep something confidential can arise without a contractual obligation but an NDA helps to prove this duty exists. NDAs should be prepared and signed before the disclosure is made.

 Ashley Kidd, Solicitor