THE CAMPAIGN GOAL
The goal of our campaign is simple – legislative and regulatory change that will make NDAs unenforceable for anything other than their original purpose – the prevention of sharing confidential business information (“intellectual property”) and trade secrets.
NDAs are unnecessary for protecting victim identity (which can be protected with a simple one sided confidentiality clause), catastrophically damaging to innocent parties, and immoral when they hide harmful information from the public.
Heightened awareness and global discussion around the misuse of NDAs has resulted in policy changes in some organisations, warning notices from regulators (e.g. the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority in England & Wales) and new laws in several US states. We have been instrumental in the recent introduction of new laws in the UK, Canada and Ireland (please see Legislation section HERE) and we are working with legislators in the UK and Canada (at provincial and federal level) on more new legislation, and with a government task force in Victoria Australia, all modelled on our Irish Bill.
But this isn’t enough. NDAs are still being used every day by the powerful to protect themselves and legislators and regulators need to speed up reform.
Our campaign will focus on 4 strategies.
Lobbying government to recognise that NDAs are currently being used to create dangerous environments and that the law needs to be changed.
Building public awareness of the immoral use of NDAs and give people the information and power to say “no” to signing.
Advocating that regulators, businesses and institutions adopt a code of practice that will not allow NDAs to hide information about harmful people, practices and products.
Providing a safe platform for people who have been pressured to sign an NDA to anonymously step forward and share how it has affected them.
who we are
Zelda Perkins has been campaigning since 2017 when she was the first woman to break an NDA, signed decades earlier, with Harvey Weinstein. She brought the systematic abuse of NDA’s to the attention of the British Government and international press, giving evidence at two parliamentary inquiries, which have uncovered an epidemic of misuse, and pushing the England and Wales Solicitors Regulatory Authority to take disciplinary action against the lawyer who created her NDA for Weinstein. Her actions have been inspiring others, to come forward by her example. Zelda was named a Person of the Year by Time magazine in 2017 and by the Guardian in 2020.
Professor Julie Macfarlane is a Canadian law professor, Member of the Order of Canada, who has won many awards for her work in advocating for access to justice. In 2016, in her personal negotiations with the Anglican Church, she persuaded the Church and their insurer to end the default practice of forcing NDAs on victims of clerical abuse. Later that year4, she discovered that a colleague terminated following an investigation for harassment and other misconduct was protected by an NDA that had been negotiated before his departure from the University of Windsor, and that he had been able to move to another law school who knew nothing of his history. The University continued to hide the facts in the NDA enabling the perpetrator to successfully sue her for “defamation”.
THE CAMPAIGN TEAM
We have a fantastic team of volunteers working to achieve the goals
of the campaign.
Liz Le Clair
Financials and Event Planning
British Colombia Petition
In the News
Below are some of our amazing partners who we are working with to realise the goals of the Can’t Buy My Silence campaign.
Studio NinetyOne is a brand focused design agency based in East London and North Cornwall. Since 2005, we have worked with an eclectic mix of clients who understand the value of great design. We are known for creating brands full of character and heart. As part of our commitment to social change we worked with Co-founders Zelda Perkins and Julie Macfarlane to develop the unique Can’t Buy My Silence brand and creative as part of their campaign to ban the misuse of non-disclosure agreements. As a design agency we are committed to supporting the campaign to end the mis-use of NDAs to cover up wrong-doing in the design industry and beyond and our proud to play a part in its development.
Bill Eyres is a sustainability and social justice campaigner who has worked in politics, the charity sector and for ethical businesses like The Body Shop and The Co-operative Bank and major brands like O2. He has worked on high profile initiatives against the financing of landmines, domestic violence, trafficking of women, and climate change with well known campaigners like Anita Roddick, Jonathon Porritt and Emma Thompson. Bill has a won a variety of awards for his work including the Winner of the Global Good Awards Individual Outstanding Leadership Award in 2015 and with the agency VCCP a Webby in 2019 for a campaign on online child safety.
Data Insights Partner
Speak Out Revolution is an award winning not-for-profit, founded in 2020, with a mission to cancel the culture of silence on harassment and bullying in our workplaces. They provide a safe platform for targets of workplace harassment and bullying to anonymously speak out via their Speak Out Dashboard and use the collective insights to raise awareness, educate and empower everyone to become allies for more inclusive work environments. Find out more about their work at speakoutrevolution.co.uk. You can help us collect information on the prevalence of NDAs as well as bullying and harassment by completing our survey here.
Strategy & Campaign Development Partner
Breakthrough Impact identify high potential leaders with experience and grassroots campaign groups focused on the most pressing social justice issues of our time. They support them to develop and execute winning strategy and connect them to the world class networks they need to drive transformative change. Co founder Katherine Sladden has been at the forefront of some of the UK's most high profile campaigns as a founding director of Change.org before Breakthrough Impact whilst Co founder David Pinto Duschinsky brings his experience from senior roles across Government in the 90's including special advisor to the Chancellor and Home Secretary to deputy Director in the Prime Minister's strategy unit.