Non-Compete Agreements: Drafting and Enforcing in a Changed Environment (RECORDING)
For centuries, employers have used non-compete contracts (NCCs) to prohibit an employee from working for or becoming a competitor for a certain period of time. But in recent years these state law contracts have faced harsh criticism for limiting the ability of workers to earn a living. Many states have adopted or are considering a combination of reforms, including increasing transparency for workers and limiting non-competes’ application. What's more, courts have tremendous discretion in how they enforce an NCC; they are often reluctant to enforce any contract that seems to overreach and may be more sympathetic to employees in a time of pandemic-related high unemployment.
Yet employer motivation to not lose any investment in an employee and to protect themselves from the possible loss of trade secrets remains strong. Our panel includes two experienced litigators in the field and the head of IP at a large technology multinational. They will discuss:
- Crafting a NCC that is enforceable
- The importance of choice of law provisions
- Alternatives to NCC’s, including garden leave and equity forfeiture
- The relationship between NCC enforcement and trade secret claims
- Lay-offs and NCC enforcement
- Negotiating a settlement
Buckmaster de Wolf
General Electric Co.
is chief IP counsel of General Electric Company. Earlier he was General Counsel of GE Global Research and Senior Counsel Litigation & Legal Policy, focusing on IP litigation. Prior to joining GE, Buck was a partner in the San Francisco office of Howrey.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP
is an employment litigator at Orrick. His practice focuses on matters involving trade secret misappropriation and the enforcement of post-employment restrictions. Jim has conducted numerous temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction hearings in connection with these types of cases.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
is a trial attorney and national chair of the Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer Fraud practice group at Seyfarth. A former state prosecutor, Michael has successfully obtained and defended temporary restraining orders and preliminary and permanent injunctions in several jurisdictions.