Guidance On Covenants Not To Compete

Non-competition agreements must strike a balance between protecting the employer's brand, intellectual property and reputation and burdening the employee's future endeavors. While there have been some efforts at legislation to limit restrictive covenants in Massachusetts, to date those efforts have not been successful. There are, however, limits to restrictions that a court will deem reasonable. It is critical for lawyers in this area to keep up-to-speed on new cases involving restrictive covenants, especially as industries change and become more global.

Boston attorney Jessica Block, as advocate and arbitrator, makes sure to stay current on the changing employment law. She provides advice to clients on existing non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and, further, negotiates and drafts non-compete and non-solicitation provisions to ensure compliance with applicable state law and ensure reasonableness.

Noncompete Agreements: Advice And Negotiation

Non-competes (covenants not to compete) typically apply to an executive, manager or key employee who would be qualified to start a competing business or targeted to be hired away by a competitor. However, many rank-and-file employees often must sign restrictive covenants as a condition of employment, only to find later that a prospective employer will not hire them.

In advising employees, Jessica Block advises on the likelihood that the restrictions in a non-compete agreement will be enforced and whether a specific job opportunity or new venture would implicate the noncompete clause. She often works with counsel for the other party and the new employer to craft a compromise that satisfies all parties' needs and goals.

In counseling employers, Jessica advises on the risk of a lawsuit and potential outcomes, including whether the language is too broad or overly restrictive to be upheld, or whether the provision is narrowly drafted enough to protect the business's intellectual property and goodwill.

Have a question about a covenant not to compete? Call 617-223-1900 or send us an email.