Access to information in joint ventures: the dangers of being kept in the dark
Operators of joint ventures have, by reason of their position, first-hand access to all information relating to the joint venture, including financial results, technical data, and documents relating to relationships with third parties and contractors. Non-operators regularly strike difficulty in obtaining all the information they need in relation to the affairs of joint ventures, especially if a dispute is emerging between participants in it.
This paper explores various mechanisms for non-operators to obtain joint venture records, including express provisions in the joint venture agreement itself, and the potential to argue that there should be a right to obtain records implied into the agreement. Other potential mechanisms are also canvassed, including the assertion of fiduciary duties owed by the operator that might provide the non-operator with rights to obtain information.