Practice/Industry Group Overview
Burr & Forman’s Non-Compete and Trade Secrets service group comprises litigation and transactional attorneys throughout the firm’s Southeastern footprint.
The group’s members are focused on the representation and counseling of businesses in connection with all types of unfair competition issues, including those involving non-compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements, employee raiding, trade secrets, and employee loyalty. Our attorneys have years of experience in these areas and are often called upon to write articles, present seminars and comment in the media. We stay up-to-the-minute on news and developments relating to non-compete and trade secrets law, and apprise our clients and the public of such through our blog, located at noncompetetradesecretslaw.com.
In today’s competitive and mobile employment landscape, almost all types of businesses require our group’s expertise and services. Accordingly, the group’s attorneys have represented banks, financial services companies, consulting firms, technology companies, medical practices, insurance companies, media and publishing businesses, franchisors, and a wide variety of sales-oriented businesses. The services we provide to our clients include the following:
Drafting Non-Compete Agreements
The key for employers in preventing unfair competition by a departing employee is to have a comprehensive and effective non-compete agreement for executive-level, sales and other employees with access to customers and/or confidential information. Depending on a client’s particular needs and goals, these agreements will often have provisions addressing all or some combination of the following: non-competition; confidentiality/non-disclosure; non-solicitation of customers; return of employer property; trade secrets protection; non-recruitment of employees; and ownership of intellectual property.
The law governing these types of agreements is state-specific, so it is crucial for employers to have their non-competes drafted by an attorney well-versed in the relevant law of the state where an agreement will need to be enforced. Our multi-state coverage uniquely allows us to work together to customize our clients’ non-compete agreements to satisfy the particular requirements of the states in which our clients do business. Furthermore, these agreements are rarely “one size fits all”, and the depth of knowledge of our non-compete attorneys allows us to work with each client to tailor an agreement that will be enforceable and protect the client’s valuable business interests.
Counseling on Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Issues
In addition to drafting non-compete agreements, the firm’s Non-Compete & Trade Secrets attorneys spend a lot of time counseling with clients on other ways to employ best practices in protecting a business valuable customer relationships and business information. Such counseling often involves working with a client to understand the nuances of the business in order to help the client develop policies and procedures for better protecting its trade secrets and other confidential information. Our attorneys also assist clients with general employee on-boarding and exit strategies geared toward avoiding disputes involving non-compete and trade secrets issues, as well as getting involved with specific new or departing employees for the purpose of resolving unfair competition issues before they flare up into litigation.
Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Often, litigation simply cannot be avoided in a non-compete or trade secret dispute. In that event, our litigators are prepared to move fast to ascertain the pertinent facts, secure an injunction to protect the client’s customer relationships and confidential information, and move to a judgment for damages if necessary. Similarly, our attorneys are equally adept at defending against non-compete and trade secrets claims when a client’s needs necessitate such representation.
Burr & Forman’s Non-Compete & Trade Secret Group includes attorneys licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, and multiple other states, and we have significant experience in FINRA arbitrations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. We pride ourselves on staffing each dispute in the most cost-effective manner to ensure that the client achieves the best possible outcome for a reasonable fee.
Represented employer in various matters against defecting employees, including the enforcement of restrictive covenants, protection of trade secrets and proprietary information, and defense of claims for unpaid commissions.
Represented physicians and physician groups in non-compete litigation and negotiations.
Sale of Stock
Represented the stockholders of VI Prewett & Sons in the sale of its stock to Gildan Activewear, Ltd., a Toronto-based manufacturer of clothing and sportswear with operations in twelve countries. The transaction was preceded by the bundling of sixteen subsidiary corporate entities into a single entity for sale to Gildan. Terms of the deal included post-closing escrows and earnout provisions as well as agreements with various officers and affiliates. The firm is continuing to work with the Shareholder Representatives in completing post-closing matters.
Represented client Budgetext Corporation, a distributor of educational materials having sales in excess of $100,000,000 annually, with the recapitalization and restructuring of the Company in connection with the offering of shares to third party investors. Work included negotiation of contracts, analysis, review and preparation of due diligence materials and offering materials, advice on tax matters, and review of structuring issues. Proposed transaction included sale of subsidiaries in Puerto Rico and Panama.
Trade Secrets Dispute
Represented pharmacy in a trade secrets dispute concerning compounding formulas.