News & Analysis as of

Court Was Wrong to Re-Write Covenants

In Prophet v Huggett [2014] ECWA Civ 1013, the Court of Appeal has overturned a recent decision of the High Court in which it had re-written a non-compete covenant to give it commercial effect. You may recall that we...more

Update on Covenants Not to Compete

Covenants not to compete can be valuable for an employer. But, as in many areas of employment law, non-compete law is always changing. Below are some issues for employers to consider, as well as some recent court...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Rewrites Geographic Territory of Non-Compete in Business Purchase Agreement

When it comes to non-compete agreements, North Carolina is a “blue pencil” state. This is a legal term meaning that when faced with an agreement that is overbroad or unreasonable when applied to the particular circumstances...more

Does Bird’s Eye View Render Executive Non-Compete Unenforceable?

So here’s a good one for healthcare employers to ponder. Let’s say you have an executive subject to a valid and seemingly enforceable non-compete agreement. Because the agreement concerns an executive, we would normally...more

Massachusetts Legislature Fails to Pass Bill to Ban Noncompetes and Adopt the UTSA

Employers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Massachusetts legislature has rejected a bill to ban noncompetition agreements. The effort to outlaw noncompetes in the Commonwealth has...more

North Carolina Court Of Appeals Prods Supreme Court To Update Analysis On Non-Competes

The executive and legislative branches in North Carolina have made efforts recently to encourage the relocation and expansion of businesses in the State in a continuing quest to make North Carolina more business friendly. ...more

Could Non-Compete Agreements Be Banned in Connecticut?

Many employers believe that non-compete agreements, also known as restrictive covenants, can be an important tool in protecting confidential information, trade secrets, and other legitimate business interests. They allow...more

Can the Judge Rewrite Your Non-Compete?

North Carolina has long followed the “strict blue-pencil doctrine,” meaning that the court has two options when faced with an overly broad non-competition agreement: - Strike the unreasonable portion of the non-compete if...more

Non-Compete Provisions in ERISA Plans – A Recent 5th Circuit Case

A recent case out of the Northern District of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals touches upon the intersection of non-compete agreements and ERISA plans....more

Quirky Question #237, Badger your employees to sign new non-competes?

Question: We are a Wisconsin employer that has recently lost a number of employees to competing companies in our area. We’re worried our competitors are getting an unfair edge in the market, basically using employees...more

PLEADING A NON-COMPETE CLAIM: Sometimes the Bare Minimum Is Just Enough

There is no such thing as “per se” unenforceability of non-compete agreements (with a few notable exceptions). Instead, a court will enforce a non-compete if it meets whatever criteria a particular jurisdiction establishes –...more

Alternative Theories To Address Former Employee Competition Where There Are No Covenants

A recent Connecticut Superior Court case demonstrates that all is not lost for an employer when a former employee without a non-compete or a non-solicitation covenant leaves and competes. Wentworth, DeAngelis & Kaufman, Inc....more

Interfere at Your Own Risk: Legal Fees Awarded as Damages for Violating A Non-Compete Agreement

We all know the default American Rule for attorneys’ fees: unless you get fees in a contract or from a statute, you shouldn’t count on someone else paying the freight if you win your case. But a recent non-compete case brings...more

Do You Know What Your Restrictive Covenant Restricts?

When preparing employment agreements, businesses often want to include provisions that restrict employees in their use of company information, contact with customers, or choice of next employer. These restrictions, called...more

Back to the Basics: Non-Compete Lost to a Superseding-Agreement Clause

With so much focus on the reasonableness of restrictive covenants, it’s easy to forget that non-competes are plain old contracts—nothing more. And when it comes to enforcing non-competes, basic contract law still applies....more

The World Cup of Non-Competes

Can you imagine if FIFA allowed or enforced non-compete agreements that limited the ability of a player to hold dual citizenship and play for either country? Would the World Cup have suffered if brothers representing Ghana...more

Massachusetts Federal Court Refuses to Transform Non-Disclosure Agreement into a Non-Competition Agreement

A recent decision from the Massachusetts federal district court serves as a good reminder to Massachusetts employers that courts are unlikely to view the breach of a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement as justification...more

UWOA Exception Does Not Apply to Noncompete Agreements in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently reaffirmed Pennsylvania’s longstanding position that employers must provide valuable consideration to employees who enter into noncompete agreements. In a case of first impression, the...more

Pennsylvania Appellate Court Finds Uniform Written Obligations Act Inapplicable to Covenants Not to Compete

In a case of first impression, the Pennsylvania Superior Court (one of Pennsylvania’s two state appellate courts) recently issued a ruling in Socko v. Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc. (“Socko”), 1223 MDA 2013 (May 13, 2014),...more

Damages for Breach of a 12-Month Non-Compete Covenant

In Merlin Financial Consultants Ltd v Cooper [2014] EWCH 1196, the High Court awarded damages to an employer where the employee had breached a 12-month non-compete covenant in a business (rather than employment) agreement. ...more

Restrictive Covenants and the Cross-Border Employer

In most U.S. states employers are free to bind employees with restrictive covenants – which commonly take the form of post-employment restrictions on soliciting clients or employees – as a condition of employment. The wide...more

Pa. Superior Court: ‘Valuable Consideration’ Required for Employer Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreement

In a case of first impression, a Pennsylvania appellate court recently held that contractual language satisfying the state’s Uniform Written Obligations Act (UWOA)—that is, a statement that the parties “intend to be legally...more

Prepare To Consider Your Former Employees Your New Competition

There’s nothing that gets employers more fired up than a former employee jumping ship to join a competitor. But, in an effort to prevent such future angst, you’ve had your employees sign a non-compete. You’re golden, right?...more

A Case in Point: When and How to Use Non-Compete Agreements for Bank Executives and Key Managers

Consumer and commercial banks have interests that may legitimately be protected by a noncompete agreement. Such banks are in the business of using a sales force, direct mail, telemarketing, branches, the Internet and other...more

Pennsylvania Court Refuses to Enforce Non-Competition Agreement; Holds that Continued Employment Alone is Insufficient...

Most jurisdictions in the United States hold that continued employment constitutes sufficient consideration in exchange for entering into a non-competition agreement. A handful of jurisdictions however – Minnesota, North...more

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