Covenants Not to Compete

Companies that deal with sensitive information, such as trade secrets, should be aware that this important intellectual property could go out the door when a key employee leaves for a competitor. The consequences of failing to secure and enforce an effective covenant not to compete can be disastrous to a small, medium, or even a Fortune 500 company. No matter what the size of your company, Friday, Eldredge & Clark works with you to ensure that, whether you add employees through hiring or acquisition, the confidential and proprietary information you give those employees is protected in the same way as all other vital business assets. Clients in business sectors as varied as health care, retailing, and manufacturing benefit from our help and guidance.

Drafting Covenants

In drafting a covenant not to compete for your company, we structure it precisely so that your provision of confidential and proprietary information during an employee’s time with you is balanced by securing the agreement to refrain from working for a competitor for a certain period of time, from soliciting or serving your customers or recruiting your other employees, and from divulging the information you provided during employment. You can obtain our help either to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information and provision of services for stated periods of time or to secure all the rights you are entitled to from your employees.

Our counsel is often proactive, as we help you craft effective covenants and educate your employees about the importance of complying with them. We also make sure to address all antitrust aspects of non-competition agreements, including non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements as part of licensing arrangements.

Handling Disputes

Disputes over covenants not to compete often pit employers against each other. We’ve handled many of these cases in courts around the country, and are skilled at securing and resisting TROs and permanent injunctions to protect employer interests in any type of case. We regularly litigate non-compete claims based on unfair competition and common law misappropriation. We regularly obtain injunctive relief enforcing employers’ rights, and frequently litigate contractual disputes relating to alleged breaches of employment agreements and commission agreements. If your competitors have engaged in systematic predatory hiring of key personnel to secure trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information, we can protect you through temporary restraining orders, injunctions, and damage claims involving tortious interference with employment contracts and misappropriation of trade secrets.

When you turn to our firm for help, you get it from skilled litigators, who in many instances have been recognized by both Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America, including several who have been selected for the prestigious College of Trial Lawyers. Members of our team have represented employers in hundreds of jury trials in courts nationwide (including before the Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals), as well as in the federal district and appellate courts. When your vital interests are at stake in a time-sensitive non-compete dispute, you have the assurance that we understand the remedies you need and have the experience and trial knowledge to secure them.