Fort Worth Non-Compete Work Lawyers
Drafting and Litigation of Non-Compete Contracts — Tarrant County Covenant Not to Compete, Attorneys
Whether you are an employee seeking advice regarding your employer’s request that you sign a covenant not to compete, or a business seeking to enforce such a provision linked to a generous severance package, the importance of non-compete provisions can hardly be overstated. Although a non-compete agreement might safeguard the legitimate business interests of an employer, the employment and business restrictions on an employee can impede a future job search and narrow career options.
At FH Law Group, we analyze and draft agreements that protect our clients’ interest while mitigating the risk of future litigation. When our clients need representation in litigation to enforce a non-compete or to avoid its reach, Fort Worth non-compete contract attorneys at FH Law Group bring their experience in handling over a hundred trials. FH Law Group has built its reputation on thorough research, analysis, and advocacy that translates into success at trial and that provides a motivation for the other side to reach an amicable settlement.
Understanding a Non-Compete Agreement in Texas
Non-compete agreements typically are executed by a departing employee in favor of an employer or the seller of a business for the benefit of the purchaser. While the precise terms of such an agreement can differ, the gist of a covenant not to compete involves one party (typically the employee or seller) agreeing not to engage in a similar trade or profession in competition with the other party for a certain period of time. In the employment context, Texas non-compete agreements basically restrict employees from working in their trade, industry, or profession, hiring employees away from a former employer, or soliciting the employees of the former employer.
Although the vast majority of limits on competition are prohibited under Texas law, the Covenants Not to Compete Statute provides an exception for non-compete provisions. This type of restriction on competition must comply with two distinct requirements to be enforceable in Texas. Courts in Texas will enforce such an agreement if two requirements are met: (1) the scope of the restrictions must be reasonable; and (2) the employee’s promise not to compete must be reasonably related to an interest worthy of the employer’s protection.
- Reasonableness of Restrictions: The process of determining whether the restrictions are reasonable is a complex, fact-intensive analysis. The relevant areas of restriction to be evaluated include time periods, the precise activities to be restricted, and the geographical scope of the limitations. An experienced Fort Worth non-compete agreement lawyer understands the type of information and arguments needed to persuasively argue this issue in litigation.
- Reciprocal Promises: The law with regard to this aspect of the requirements for enforcement of a non-compete clause changed significantly in recent years. The non-compete clause must have been designed to enforce the employee’s promise in the underlying agreement. Few non-compete agreements met this standard prior to changes in the law, but an agreement where an employer provided trade secrets to an employee could justify an employee’s promise not to disclose such information. Under the former law, it was generally accepted that an employer could not “buy” an employee’s promise not to compete. The Texas Supreme Court changed the law in 2011 and ruled the employee’s promise only needs to have a factual nexus or be rationally related to the employer’s non-compete agreement.
Speak to a Fort Worth Non-Compete Agreement Attorney Today!
The fact intensive nature and recent changes in the law related to non-compete agreements makes it imperative that parties seeking to enforce or avoid the restrictions in such an agreement seek legal advice. Covenants not to compete that were not enforceable under the prior law might now be valid. Experienced Fort Worth non-compete agreement attorneys at FH Law Group have the skill, experience, and expertise to assist clients in protecting their interests when evaluating a non-compete provision. When litigation involving enforcement of a non-compete agreement is appropriate, we tenaciously pursue the best possible outcome for our clients. Contact us today for a FREE consultation at (817) 697-4400 or visit our website.