We wouldn’t be where we are without our superstar Steering Committee. We are deeply grateful to all the organisations who brought their energy and passion to the project and took part in bringing oneNDA to life.
The oneNDA story started in January 2021 after a horrendous year of Covid. My mission at TLB has always been to transform legal functions by helping them optimise the way they operate through tech, smart process and design.
But in 2020, Covid forced us to pivot into offering contract overflow support to support our clients sudden change in needs.
We worked frantically to help our clients manage their heavy workloads and at the end of the year, exhausted and bewildered by the world-changing events we’d all experienced, we decided to take a breath and try to get a better understanding of what it was that we’d been doing over the past 12 months.
To say we were shocked is an understatement. We found that 63% of the agreements we’d reviewed for our clients were NDAs but that only accounted for 7% of our revenue. It was clear that the sheer volume of contracts we were processing and the cost, time and effort involved was disproportionate to the value they were adding - to anyone. What’s more, it made us feel that we were working against our own mission by perpetuating an industry-level problem instead of doing something to solve it.
So in January 2021, I put out a thought out on LinkedIn: why do we all have our own NDA template when they all more or less say the same thing? How much value does insisting on bespoke templates add and how much is it really costing us? What if we all agreed to adopt one identical NDA template? How much time, money and hassle would businesses save if we all began from the same starting point?
The response was phenomenal. That single post got thousands of views and I was receiving messages from lawyers across the globe encouraging me to spearhead this initiative to create a single NDA. So in February 2021, I set up a basic website over a weekend and invited people to sign up to express their interest in driving forward an initiative to standardise the NDA.
Our objective was to get 100 participants to express interest so we could gauge whether we might be successful and gave everyone two weeks to sign up.
We hit that number in 12 hours from launch.
By the end of the month, we had 330 companies signed up, including lawyers from some of the most prominent organisations globally such as Google, Coca-Cola, EasyJet, UBS and Barclays. We also had interest in the initiative from some of the biggest law firms globally.
So I decided to do it - I had to spearhead the initiative to standardise the NDA. With input from the Steering Committee and the wider oneNDA community, we managed to create a standard NDA within a period of just five months.
Today, oneNDA has been downloaded by thousands of organisations globally and the initiative continues to grow daily.
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