Women and Equalities Committee publishes report on the use of NDAs in discrimination cases

The Women and Equalities Committee published their report on ‘The use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases’ earlier this week. Farore Law submitted oral and written evidence to the Committee’s inquiry last year, and we are glad to see that our evidence was cited by the Committee in its report.

Amongst other things, the Committee concluded that:

"There is a clear need for action to ensure that confidentiality, non-derogatory and other clauses cannot be drafted in such a way that they lack clarity about what the effect of the clauses are and, importantly, about the types of disclosure that they cannot prevent.”

The report is available to view on the Parliament.uk website here.

Suzanne McKie QC quoted in The Times

Suzanne McKie QC was quoted in The Times regarding #MeToo, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and how lawyers address complaints of sexual harassment. Amongst other actions, the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (SRA) has opened a file into the behaviour of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (a top-tier law firm) towards one of Farore Law's clients.

Suzanne confirmed that it is not common for the SRA to be involved in such claims: "I would expect this to increase as people become more aware of what the SRA can do, and what amounts to professional misconduct. The SRA is also looking at strengthening the duties of solicitors to ensure that those duties are overridingly in favour of justice, so that those duties trump your duty to your client."

Click here to access the article.

Farore Law's latest submissions to the Women and Equalities Committee

The Parliamentary Women's and Equalities Committee have asked for further submissions on its investigation into sexual harassment claims - specifically, the use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases.

Farore Law has asked the Committee to widen its remit to look at access to justice generally. The firm’s written submissions can be viewed on Parliament’s website here. A PDF version is also available.

NDAs and confidentiality agreements: Parliamentary inquiry launched

MPs have launched an inquiry into workplace harassment, with particular regard to the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the context of sexual harassment.

Although this may be welcome, we have to be very clear about what benefits there are to claimants in the use of confidentiality agreements as part of a settlement following harassment and/or termination of employment following their being harassed. We should be slow to outlaw these, as claimants/victims should be given a choice as to what is right for them in order to move on and draw a line under the trauma. No victim should be forcibly prevented (directly or indirectly) from entering into a settlement agreement with the alleged perpetrator (or those liable for the perpetrator's actions). No victim should be criticised for refusing or not feeling able to litigate on the matter or report the matter to the police - to criticise them in this way places blame or responsibility (yet again) on the victim.

See here for the relevant BBC article.