The latest developments have highlighted the risk of hiring an external consultant to work on a project without an enforceable confidentiality agreement. Increasingly, consultants are using the work experience of industrial clients as a springboard to later sell this expertise in prosecuting these clients and others in the sector. As a contractor, you will be well served if you have strict confidentiality agreements to prevent a sensitive information advisor from returning years later and using the same information against you in future legal action. (c) the advisor may not provide, disclose or report any non-publicly obtained or produced work products or information obtained or produced pursuant to this agreement to a federal government, the state or a local agency or other public or private persons or entities, without (i) the client`s express prior written authorization, or (ii) a judicial or administrative injunction requiring disclosure. In the event that an advisor believes that he is required to disclose a work product or non-public information under current law, or if a court or administrative order is served on him for the disclosure of a work product or non-public information, he will immediately inform the client in writing and answer, challenge or challenge such a citation. , in accordance with the Customer`s instructions. , or judicial administrative decision, prior to disclosure, and will cooperate fully with the client to respond, appeal or challenge such a summons, or a court or administrative order. Neither consultants nor its related companies may disclose a work product or non-public information to a natural or legal person, nor may they use or authorize the use or use of work products or non-public information to demonstrate private interests that are not provided for in this agreement. The advisor takes appropriate measures to ensure the confidentiality and protection of all work products and non-public information and to prevent its disclosure or inappropriate use by consultants or its subcontractors or by its employees or related companies. This obligation also applies after the expiry or termination of this contract. The need for strict confidentiality agreements was highlighted in environmental product liability disputes, which culminated last week with a $236 million ruling against ExxonMobil.
One of the applicant`s main witnesses was an expert who previously worked as an advisor to a defendant on projects directly relevant to the litigation issues and exposed to the confidential information provided by the defendant. The defendant did not require the advisor to enter into a confidentiality agreement during the project. The accused moved to prevent the complainant from using the expert against them in the complaint, but the court dismissed the defendant`s request, largely because of the lack of a confidentiality agreement with the counselor. If the defendant had really been interested in keeping the information confidential, the court stated that it would have expressed in writing to the counsel its expectations by inserting a confidentiality clause into the consultation agreement. When developing a confidentiality agreement, there is often a tension between the client`s desire to keep confidential information confidential and an advisor`s possible obligation to disclose the information to state regulators.