Our Practice Areas

Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility

In the current economy, business information and customer good will are often a company’s most significant assets. At the same time, employees typically do not work for an employer for more than a few years, especially during periods of economic disruption. Technology has also made it easier for employees to leave with proprietary, confidential and trade secret information when moving to that next job. Companies must vigorously protect against unfair competition and secure proprietary information and goodwill against wrongful use by former employees, independent contractors, temporary staff, and outside consultants.

Walsh attorneys have decades of experience handling matters involving employee mobility and the protection of trade secrets and intellectual property. Our employee mobility team understands the nuanced intersections of what others treat as separate practices – employment, intellectual property, executive compensation and trade secrets – and how those interactions play out in adversarial and other settings.

Whether representing the former employer, the departing executive, or the subsequent employer or business endeavor, Walsh lawyers have handled all variety of litigation focused on restrictive covenant agreements including non-competition, invention assignment, and customer/vendor/employee non-solicitation agreements, as well as trade secret and non-disclosure contracts.  Our experience spans numerous industries and business contexts, including:

  • property and casualty insurance
  • enterprise information management software
  • solar technology
  • specialty chemicals
  • hedge funds
  • high-frequency trading
  • medical benefits
  • wirehouse and broker-dealers
  • electronic medical records
  • private aviation
  • funeral and bereavement services
  • orthopedic, spine and other medical specialties
  • ophthalmology
  • foodservice
  • restaurant equipment
  • building supply distribution
  • dietary supplement and specialty nutritional food manufacturers

Walsh’s practice in this area is further enhanced by the presence of former United States District Judge Joel Pisano, who presided over dozens of non-compete and injunctive relief applications as a federal jurist and who serves as an important resource in this area.

Drawing on deep subject matter expertise and decades of experience, Walsh attorneys also frequently assist clients in developing tailored data security and information protection strategies to minimize risk. It is not uncommon for Walsh to have crafted a client’s non-compete and overall enforcement program and then to be called upon to enforce the covenant. Walsh has achieved success in crafting and enforcing post-employment covenants, even in states that generally prohibit such post-employment restrictions, through a combination of choice of law, choice of forum, and mandatory arbitration provisions, thereby enhancing predictability despite variations in local law.

Because these cases often involve esoteric data preservation and search challenges, the Walsh team’s deep technical understanding of computer forensics is imperative in detecting and assessing data theft and related threats to intellectual property.

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