I’m planning to work with various companies and individuals in the Far East, India and South America. But I need to protect my secret information. How do the laws of the different countries interact in this situation? Is their such a thing as an international NDA?
Alasdair Taylor's Answer
There is no international law of contracts as such. Each country has its own legal system. Whilst you can specify which legal system will govern the terms of a contract (e.g. “this Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with English law…”) and which courts will have jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes relating to the contract (e.g. “… and the courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to disputes arising under, or relating to, this Agreement”) you cannot by contract prevent the courts of any interested country from intervening. So, in an ideal world, if you are entering into an NDA with an overseas company, the document would be approved by lawyers in both your home jurisdiction and that overseas jurisdiction. In practice, of course, this often doesn’t happen.