An initiative backed by City firms to create a standard non-disclosure agreement has published its first ‘baseline’ document.

The OneNDA project – which has secured the help of Allen & Overy, Linklaters, Slaughter and May, Norton Rose Fulbright and Gilbert + Tobin – aims to create a ‘universally standardised’ template for NDAs to be adopted by 1,000 companies by the end of the year.

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The initiative is backed by City firms

The initiative has now completed its first phase, publishing a three-page baseline document. It says it will now move into its operational stage, drawing up house rules to outline how the template can be used. It will also look to ensure the document is not amended beyond what’s acceptable.

The initiative was co-founded by Electra Japonas and Roisin Noonan of The Law Boutique and launched in February. It intends to ‘go to market’ in July and attract 1,000 companies by the end of the year.

It is hoped that a standardised NDA will provide commercial protection without unnecessary delay and minimise potential friction between parties who are beginning a business relationship. Solicitors have said NDAs are often viewed as an ‘unwelcome speed bump’ to parties exploring new business opportunities.