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Practices Practices Section


Non-Compete & Trade Secrets

Overview Press Room


In the current highly competitive, knowledge-driven global marketplace, a company’s ability to protect its intellectual property, human capital and important client relationships has become even more critical to both its success and survival. The members of Proskauer’s Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Group (NCTS Group) are among the best at handling these complex matters involving once-independent disciplines—employment, trade secrets, executive compensation, IP—that are now intertwined, and which once required only knowledge of local law but now require national and international breadth.

The NCTS Group is an interdisciplinary, global practice with lawyers located in our offices across the United States (New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois and Louisiana), Europe (London and Paris), Asia (Hong Kong) and South America (São Paulo). Our geographic reach, however, is far beyond our footprint. In the U.S., for example, our lawyers have provided counsel and litigated cases in virtually every state. Most recently, these have included cases and disputes in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Massachusetts, California, Utah, Illinois, Texas, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Washington, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Mississippi and North Carolina. We have also handled matters with international implications, such as those involving the interaction of laws in the U.S. with those in countries in South America, Europe and Asia. Globally, we have leading practitioners in our London, Paris and Hong Kong offices. And those lawyers likewise have provided advice and counsel across all of Europe and into Asia.

We assist clients in both litigated matters (in court or in various ADR settings) and non-litigated matters. On the non-litigation front, we provide advice and counsel concerning the many pressure points associated with hiring and firing employees who possess confidential information or otherwise have restrictive covenants. We also draft confidentiality, non-compete, non-solicit, pre-invention assignment, and equity-based compensation arrangements and agreements, along with policy manuals on information ownership and protection.

As to litigation, we approach (and oppose) applications for injunctive relief. Indeed, as these cases usually “explode” from the outset, they require lawyers who are familiar with the pressure points of such litigation and those who know how to capitalize on those pressure points. Our NCTS litigators have that extensive experience and deliver results. Indeed, many of the litigators in our practice devote 60 percent or more of their practice to NCTS-related cases and disputes.

Furthermore, our lawyers are accomplished authors and regular speakers in the field. Three of our co-heads, John Barry, Steven Kayman and Michael Album, recently updated their extensive chapter, “Non-Competes and Related Issues," in the latest edition of Executive Compensation, a leading treatise co-edited by Michael Sirkin, a Partner at Proskauer who is a recognized leader in the area. Our group also regularly publishes articles in a range of legal and professional publications and conducts client seminars. Most recently, members of the NCTS Group presented on the Topic of “Non-Competes 2.0—High Level Issues in the Protection of Trade Secrets and Confidential Information.”

We have also dedicated considerable time and resources to knowledge management. Over the years we have developed and maintained an “e-room” that contains, among other things, templates for litigation in all jurisdictions, research organized by topic and jurisdiction and databases that track litigation from around the globe. This e-room allows us to access data, draft papers and respond to client matters in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Areas of Focus

  • Employee Movement
  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Non-Compete/Trade Secret Litigation
  • Non-Solicitation Agreements
  • Pre-Invention Assignment Agreements
  • Trade Secrets
  • Unfair Competition
  • Raiding
  • Jurisdictional Disputes (National and International)
  • “Golden Handcuff” Compensation/Equity/Retention Arrangements