Noncompetition Agreements and Noncompete Clauses

Munro Byrd, P.C. – Virginia Trial Practice

Noncompetition or “noncompete” agreements—also known as covenants not to compete, or anti-competition clauses—are a tool that corporations use to prevent valuable employees from taking their talents elsewhere. When your current or former employer uses such covenants to threaten your ability to pursue opportunities, they are suppressing your freedom and threatening your financial security.

Fortunately, some employers are open to reasonable negotiation to relax the restrictions of a noncompete. This is preferable due to the speed and certainty of a voluntary resolution, which gets you back to work more quickly. But some companies will force former officers or employees to litigate, because they do not want to be seen as “soft” to other employees, or would rather suppress a particular employee out of fear.

Regardless, you need a lawyer who understands your unique situation and can advise you on the best way to navigate it given your particular circumstances. Each noncompete is different, and the courts review each one according to its unique terms, but Virginia has some helpful restrictions on how narrowly tailored these clauses must be to protect a “legitimate business interest” in preventing competition. Success in striking these covenants as unenforceable requires a thorough understanding not just of your case, but of Virginia’s evolving case law about anti-competition, nondisclosure, trade secrets, and nonsolicitation.

For many years, we have been litigating cases for executives, officers, and professionals seeking to evade the painful restrictions of noncompetition clauses. We practice across the Commonwealth of Virginia in this field, and have tried cases involving numerous noncompetition agreements, convincing judges to strike them down as unenforceable. We are happy to review your particular non-compete and circumstances, and provide you the information you need to decide the best course.

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