Faegre Baker Daniels' labor and employment lawyers offer a depth of expertise in the rapidly changing legal and technological environment that affects employers' ability to retain talent, hire from the competition, protect trade secrets and confidential business information, and safeguard against unfair competition. Our lawyers are known for offering practical advice and support to a wide range of companies across a variety of industries in the following areas:
- Preparing non-compete, non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements that best position our clients to protect their business interests
- Enforcing those agreements through litigation in courts throughout the country, including with an emergency response team experienced in temporary restraining orders (TROs), injunctions and expedited proceedings
- Defending the interests of our clients in litigation and negotiation when threatened by competitors, including in response to employee pirating and raiding attempts
- Advising clients on strategies for reducing their litigation risk when hiring employees from the competition
We have deep experience in litigation involving non-compete agreements, other restrictive covenants, employee defections, business interference, trade secrets, computer fraud and unfair competition. We help former employers, new employers and employees litigate and resolve these claims in multiple jurisdictions.
These lawsuits involve complex issues not common in other types of civil litigation. For example, vast amounts of company data can be deleted or transferred with the click of a mouse. We work closely with computer-forensic experts to identify and explain fraudulent activity in a manner that is understandable to the judge or jury. We also work closely with economic experts to quantify and explain the financial impact that a departing employee can have on a company's bottom line.
Companies often need to act swiftly to prosecute or defend against these types of lawsuits. We have a team of experienced and nationally-recognized lawyers in place who are ready to move quickly on an emergency basis, including by seeking and defending against TROs, injunctions, and motions for expedited discovery.
We have years of experience winning high-stakes litigation that protects our clients' key assets: people and information. Representative litigation wins include:
- Obtaining favorable settlement following two-week bench trial in non-compete/trade-secret lawsuit venued in Delaware Chancery Court in which our client sought damages in excess of $20 million
- Obtaining TRO, permanent injunction and substantial damages for Fortune 50 company in federal court in Chicago against competitor and departing employee group resulting in the worldwide prohibition on competitor's use and disclosure of client's trade secrets and confidential business information
- Winning trial in trade-secret lawsuit venued in Delaware Chancery Court in which client secured more than $35 million damages judgment and court ordered 10-year permanent "production injunction"; subsequently domesticated injunction in Taipei District Court and winning contempt-of-court sanctions, including a bench warrant for the former employee's arrest
- Winning trial in federal court in Boston, obtaining damages and permanent injunction for employer in first employee pirating, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets case in the employer's industry
- Defeating preliminary-injunction action filed against executive; Illinois state court denied claims under non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreement and Illinois Trade Secrets Act
- Obtaining TRO in Maryland and preliminary injunction in Texas in non-compete matter involving technical and business leader of manufacturing company who had accepted employment with competitor
- Defeating TRO and prevailing at preliminary injunction on behalf of six employees and new employer; Colorado state court denied enforcement of former employer's non-compete
Counseling and Litigation Avoidance
In addition to our litigation practice, we also help employers craft, negotiate and enforce policies and agreements to protect customer and client relationships as well as confidential, proprietary and trade secret information. We advise companies on practical ways to secure their confidential information and customer relationships when top employees leave the company and join the competition. We also provide counsel on how to respond to employee poaching by competitors and advise companies that want to hire an employee from a competitor in a way that minimizes legal risk.