Non-compete (and non-solicit) agreements are a common part of employment contracts intended to protect an employer against a former employee who leaves his or her employment and seeks to take with them customer relationships, confidential information or other employees.
Commonly referred to as “restrictive covenants” these contract provisions must strike a delicate balance between an employee’s right to earn a living, and an employer’s right to defend itself against unfair competition. Our business litigation attorneys have successfully enforced (and attacked) non-competes and non-solicits in a variety of industries.
Generally speaking, non-competes are intended to provide employers with a reasonable degree of assurance that an employee will not use the training or specialized knowledge that an employer shares with the employee to benefit a competitor or to compete directly against the employer. However, the scope of the non-compete must be narrowly tailored in terms of geography, duration and market or profession so as not to impede unfairly the former employee’s ability to obtain subsequent employment.
Our commercial litigation lawyers have won cases invalidating non-competes where the former employer failed to identify a legitimate business interest that it was seeking to protect, and have successfully defended the use of non-competes where the geographic and temporal restrictions were narrow, and the specific prohibited competitors were readily capable of identification. Whether defending or prosecuting a restrictive covenant case, our business litigation team will take the time to understand your business and aggressively advocate on your behalf.
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