IPF launches standard forms of NDA and exclusivity agreements

Standardised forms of non-disclosure agreements and exclusivity agreements have been published by the Investment Property Forum (IPF) in a bid to improve efficiency. The agreements, which deal with confidentiality and exclusivity between buyers and sellers, can be used at a fixed cost as an alternative to drawing up bespoke documents. The IPF said the move was intended to reduce the cost of producing the agreements and avoid protracted negotiations between parties. Dan Buckle, legal counsel at Aberdeen Asset Management and a member of the IPF working group, said: “On a daily basis, I and other members of the Legal Department spend a disproportionate amount of time reviewing and negotiating non-disclosure agreements, as each one tends to differ in content, substance and form.  “After speaking with in-house lawyers at our competitors, all of whom had experienced the same issue, I suggested the introduction of an industry-backed template non-disclosure agreement, to create greater efficiency and to try to avoid protracted early stage negotiations.  “There was overwhelming support from everyone I spoke to and we agreed to contact the IPF to pursue the idea further.” Ciaran Carvalho, head of real estate at Nabarro and chair of the IPF and the working group, added: “I hope that even those organisations wedded to their own forms of these agreements will consider adopting the standard forms.  “They allow everyone to focus on the transaction itself rather than on spending time and effort negotiating documentation that relates solely to the transaction process. The forms should help reduce costs and transaction times for buyers and sellers.”