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Non-disclosure Agreements

Volume 745: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2024

20. What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the use of non-disclosure agreements in judicial processes. (901596)

Non-disclosure agreements cannot prevent any disclosure that is required or protected by law; nor can they preclude an individual from asserting statutory rights. The courts and judiciary apply the law in relation to NDAs as appropriate in individual cases and, where necessary, determine whether or not they should be enforceable.

Last year, the Legal Services Board stated that incidents of misconduct by lawyers dealing with non-disclosure agreements were a “cause for concern”, and that there was a strong case for a strengthened and harmonised regulatory approach. Does the Minister agree that there is a need for stronger regulation in this area, and will he support the Bill tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford West and Abingdon (Layla Moran), which would end the misuse of non-disclosure agreements in the workplace?

I am more than happy to have a discussion with the hon. Lady, but my understanding is that the Solicitors Regulation Authority has already published a warning notice reminding solicitors and law firms that potential professional misconduct by a person or a firm should be reported to the regulator. If she believes that there are still gaps in that warning notice, or that more needs to be done, I am more than happy to have a meeting.