POWERFUL ADVOCATES

Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Practice Team

Our Team’s Objectives – And How We Achieve Them for Clients

Our first objective is protecting corporate assets that our client companies entrust to their employees, including their confidential information, trade secrets, and valuable relationships with customers and key employees. We work with clients to implement comprehensive “corporate protection programs” and best practices to review or audit, and then enhance, their existing means of protecting such corporate assets. Complementing these legal services are the considerable resources of Pepper’s affiliated team of lawyers and non-lawyer professionals, who are dedicated to ensuring business integrity, security, compliance, and due diligence.

How does Pepper protect our clients’ corporate assets?

  • We use a coordinated multi-disciplinary approach to assess in-house technologies, existing agreements, and current practices and determine what steps can be taken to enhance methodologies and documentation and create complementary policies, procedures, and tracking devices to better protect valuable corporate assets. We also design policies and procedures to help ensure that employees do not use social media to transmit confidential information in contravention of law or corporate interests.
  • Our Labor & Employment lawyers help clients draft state-of-the-art employment and loyalty agreements or revise those currently in place. Our documentation includes not only the basic confidentiality, non-competition, and non-solicitation clauses, but more importantly an array of special protections such as clauses dealing with treatment of electronically stored information upon an employee’s departure, certifications and reaffirmations of compliance, and disclosure obligations on the part of employees. These types of provisions enable our corporate clients to better ensure that current and departing employees comply with their legal and contractual obligations. We draft these types of agreements with an eye on varied and changing state laws governing non-competes and customer restrictions, with the purpose of achieving the maximum level of success if such clauses ever need to be enforced in court.
  • Our Technology and IP Transactions lawyers and Privacy, Security and Data Protection attorneys assist clients in securing their valuable intellectual property and trade secrets with an array of legal devices ranging from IP ownership agreements with employees, consultants and others who have access to valuable materials; establishing policies and procedures for access to and handling of IP; and the preparation and use of online notices and terms of use when materials are accessed online – all consistent with U.S. and global privacy and data security laws.
  • Our Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits lawyers draft compensation agreements under which executives and other high-level employees are required to comply with agreed-upon restrictions on their activities in order to receive stock and other value from their companies.
  • Our corporate lawyers providing mergers and acquisitions advice work closely with our labor and employment and intellectual property lawyers to ensure that companies buying a business or other assets have the most effective types of permissible provisions for retaining key employees, protecting trade secrets, and restraining unfair competition.

Our second objective is to counsel clients on hiring employees from competitors, while respecting the enforceable terms of any employment agreements and such employees’ common law obligations. We “pre-litigate” cases to maximize the likelihood of lifting out key employees from other companies in a manner that increases the likelihood that our clients will remain free from costly legal challenges or, if sued, will prevail in court.

Our third objective is successfully litigating non-compete and trade secret disputes that cannot be resolved without the need for court intervention. Dozens of our lawyers in this practice area have decades of experience in enforcing non-competition, customer restriction, and confidentiality clauses as well as preventing corporate raiding and misappropriation of trade secrets – whether suing for breach of contract or an employee’s fiduciary duty of loyalty, unfair competition, employee piracy, violation of trade secrets laws, tortious interference, misappropriation, violation of civil and criminal computer abuse and cyber- and corporate espionage laws, and other statutory and common law causes of action.

How does Pepper win non-compete and trades secrets cases?

All too often, companies that bring lawsuits to restrain the misuse of their trade secrets by former employees proceed without a “smoking gun” and leave court with meaningless injunctive relief.

Pepper’s Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Practice Team is staffed and equipped with experienced litigators from our Commercial Litigation, Labor & Employment, and Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Groups to seek immediate relief in the courts when our clients’ businesses are threatened by unfair competition or illicit activities.

Complementing our litigators is Pepper’s dedicated Discovery Services team, led by counsel experienced in the collection and analysis of electronic documents. Our Discovery Services team uses the latest analytical tools and technologies in a cost-efficient manner to quickly identify pertinent documents and electronically stored information, which we often obtain under court order, that can help us secure a successful result.