Our lawyers have extensive experience drafting, interpreting and litigating over employee restrictive covenants, one of the most rapidly evolving areas of employment law – law that varies tremendously from state to state. We help clients protect their confidential information, customer goodwill and other assets through the creation and enforcement of different type of restrictive covenant agreements—including agreements with non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality restrictions—and counsel them with respect to related issues, such as employee raiding, misappropriation of trade secret information, unfair competition and computer fraud and abuse matters.
In today’s business environment, theft of valuable assets and the loss of years of goodwill is often but a mere mouse-click away. Our proactive approach is fundamental to ensuring that our clients are prepared for and can address effectively the worst employee or employee group separations. When employees do violate their contractual or other legal obligations to our clients, we act swiftly, efficiently, and effectively, and we have an established track record of success in lawsuits on behalf of entities across a variety of industries, from Fortune 100 companies to small family owned businesses. We also have successfully helped employers who recruit and hire new employees, when faced with threatened or actual legal action from the employees’ prior employer.
In addition to litigating as necessary, our team collaborates with clients to help them maximize their present and future competitive advantage in their industry, including by:
- Drafting agreements with non-competition, non-solicitation and trade secret and confidential information protections to ensure that the employer is protected and the agreement is enforceable in the event of litigation through the use of customized contractual restriction strategies and clauses.
- Formulating strategies tailored to the client’s needs that maximize both the enforceability of agreements, policies and practices in place after employment and employee compliance with protections during employment to maintain the client’s competitive edge.
- Counseling companies on steps to decrease the risk of present and existing employees misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information and to increase employee compliance with post-termination obligations.
- Advising employers concerning the hiring of employees to ensure the least possible interference from former employers.
- Reviewing the enforceability of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements in the context of hiring executives, as well as the purchase and sale of businesses.
- Advising employers on matters involving the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a long-established law that has both criminal and civil sanctions to protect employers when an employee or former employee accesses a computer “without authorization.”
We also analyze employee departures to competitive businesses to determine an optimal response. This includes investigating potential unfair competition by the departing employees, preserving electronic trail data and obtaining appropriate forensic analysis and strategizing with the client to recommend the best options for minimizing interference from departing employees.
We pride ourselves on our strategic approach, deep understanding of the law, focus on our clients’ goals and objectives, and our strong national litigation capabilities and trial experience.
Among our successes, we have:
- Developed novel legal theory under the Lanham Act and RICO in an action filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against two former employees resulting in an injunction and seven-figure settlement.
- Pursued an action in New Jersey Superior Court against 13 former employees. Through aggressive discovery, we achieved a consent order resulting in a complete bar from employment with the new employer.
- Defeated applications for temporary restraining orders (TROs) filed against a global financial services firm in several superior court actions in California that alleged violation of trade secrets and employee-raiding resulting from alleged solicitation of competitors' brokers.
- Favorably resolved a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction as part of a larger business transaction involving a collaborative effort between our litigation team and lawyers from our Corporate and Securities and Corporate Tax groups.
- Enforced the exclusivity provisions of the employment agreement for the nation’s largest, publicly traded Hispanic-controlled media and entertainment company, through arbitration of a challenge by a morning drive-time star disc jockey.
- Resolved an action brought against a former employee of our client, an international staffing company, and her new employer alleging that the former employee violated the non-competition, customer non-solicitation and other provisions of her restrictive covenant agreement with our client. The resolution included the new employer making a sizable payment to our client and agreeing to a future restrictive covenant applicable to the corporate defendant’s entire regional office.
- Brought an action seeking injunctive relief and damages against the new employer and several former officers and managers concerning the raiding of an entire Chicago office. The suit settled when the competitor closed the Chicago operation after the suit was filed.