oneNDA Is Live! An M&A Module Is Next

The oneNDA project, which has sought to create a universal Non-Disclosure Agreement to cover confidential information, has gone live and is now available.

However, the project will not stop there. There will be additional modules that build upon this initial oneNDA document. The next goal is to develop a module for use with M&A transactions. In short, this is just the beginning of something that hopefully will grow and grow.

As the project states in the interview below: ‘Imagine a world where instead of having to draft new wording (or copy and paste from another contract), you could just pull from a list of pre-agreed, non-negotiable standard modules. How much time, money and sanity would we all save?’

Electra Japonas and Roisin Noonan (left and right below), co-founders of the project, and also CEO and COO respectively of the Law Boutique, talked to Artificial Lawyer about this great achievement, which involved the input and support of many lawyers, including from Linklaters, Slaughter and May, Allen & Overy and Norton Rose Fulbright, to name a few.

– How does it feel to have achieved your goal?

Incredible! Having said that, it’s important to note that this is only the beginning. oneNDA has now been created, but the most important step, and the one that will add the real value is the Adoption phase. The more companies that adopt oneNDA as their own template, the more value oneNDA will add for businesses and lawyers alike.

Our focus over the next two months is to give companies all the support they need to get this adopted and successfully rolled out internally. That process on its own will be incredibly valuable for us as it will give us the insights into how to effectively drive change.

– What was the best part of this process?

Witnessing the power of collaboration. As lawyers, we’re trained to ‘win’ and we usually only find ourselves liaising with other lawyers in an adversarial context where winning is the aim, because unless you’re in private practice, when do you ever have the opportunity to work with lawyers outside your organisation unless its for the purposes of negotiating an agreement or settling a dispute?

This lack of collaboration in the legal industry is quite detrimental to innovation – because without understanding others it’s hard to come up with new ideas, solutions or see new perspectives. oneNDA isn’t just about an NDA. It’s about the power of collaboration and what we can achieve if we work together instead of against each other.  

– What was the worst part of it?

The anticipation! oneNDA has been hard work and it’s the first time we’ve done anything like this so there’s no measure of comparison! Not knowing if people will respond in the way you expect them to, turn up to calls or actually adopt it is hard but also exciting. We can’t wait to do it all over again!

– What happens next and what is the next type of document you will seek to standardise?

The concept of oneNDA is not just to create a ‘document’ but to create a set of ‘modules’ or clauses that will make up oneNDA. This version of oneNDA is suitable for run of the mill commercial transactions, but it’s not suitable for M&A or other financial transactions.

The next project will be to build a separate ‘M&A module’, which people can ‘stack’ on top of the baseline oneNDA module in order to expand its applicability.

Imagine a world where instead of having to draft new wording (or copy and paste from another contract), you could just pull from a list of pre-agreed, non-negotiable standard modules. How much time, money and sanity would we all save? 

Congratulation on the success! This really is a huge step forwards.

The OneNDA

Below are some screenshots of the oneNDA. Naturally, if you want to use the actual document, please go to the organisation’s webpage to get further details – here. Several things certainly are evident: it’s short – about two pages, it’s clear, and it’s concise.

(All images from oneNDA, August 2021)

Also, please note: ‘oneNDA comes as is, without any warranty at all. No one involved in writing, reviewing, or improving oneNDA will be liable to you for any damages related to this license or use of oneNDA, for any kind of legal claim. The use of oneNDA is subject to this licence agreement but don’t worry, it’s free.’

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