Employers have long required executives and professionals to enter into agreements restricting their ability to accept and pursue future job opportunities or business relationships. These restrictive covenants include "non-compete" and "non-solicitation" agreements which restrict the ability of the employee to work for a competitor or solicit clients, customers and employees following the termination of their employment. But what was once an issue faced solely by executives, physicians, accountants, investment bankers, financial and sales professionals is now being used more routinely by employers in other areas of the economy.
We have substantial experience in counseling our clients at all points in the employment relationship where restrictive covenants arise — before they are entered into, once the client decides to move to another employer or open a new business and after a new position is secured and the client is threatened with litigation seeking to enforce the restriction. The Firm provides advice to clients regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants and potential defenses that may be invoked. We also represent clients in litigation arising from these restrictive covenants.
Representative Client Engagements
Representative examples of the Firm's client engagements relating to restrictive covenants and non-compete agreements include:
- Representation of a senior commodities broker and his new business in litigation by former employer seeking a preliminary injunction preventing him from future contact with suppliers and customers of former employer.
- Providing advice to numerous financial sector executives and professionals regarding the scope and enforceability of Garden Leave and non-solicitation restrictions contained in employment agreements, offer letters and restricted equity plans.
- Representation of two senior sales executives who left their employer for a competing firm in litigation by former employer seeking a preliminary injunction and damages.
- Representation of insurance sales executives who moved from one agency to another in litigation by former employer seeking a preliminary injunction preventing him from working for new employer.