Certainly business is competitive, but that doesn’t mean your competition should be allowed to cheat in order to win. Our noncompete and trade secret attorneys routinely work with companies to respond to unscrupulous conduct by current employees, former employees, and competitors who are willing to improperly compete or otherwise undermine your competitive advantages.
Such wrongful conduct often involves claims over wrongful access of (i) trade secrets, confidential information, or other valuable business assets; (ii) violating non-compete agreements or restrictive covenants; or (iii) improperly soliciting customers or current employees.
How our noncompete attorneys can help you?
- Contract Review – We routinely review for proposed non-competes & other employment agreements. You’re always better off negotiating terms on the front end, rather than waiting for something to go wrong. We encourage all employees to schedule a comprehensive review session before they sign anything.
- Enforceability Evaluation – We will review your contract, give you an opinion on whether it’s enforceable, and suggest strategies for negotiation or litigation.
- Litigation – If a former employer has sued, or threatened to sue, we can help. We know how to fight non-competes in court, and how to deal with over-aggressive employers. Time is of the essence in these cases, so Schedule Now or Contact Us as soon as possible.
- Business Planning Strategies – We routinely collaborate with entrepreneurs and businesses when it comes to addressing noncompete restrictions in the context of competing against a former employer, forming new businesses, or hiring employees subject to noncompete restrictions.
Trade Secret and Intellectual Property Audits in the Sale and Acquisition of Business Transactions
Based on our decades of experience in protecting and valuing trade secrets and other intellectual property, we collaborate with buyers and sellers to conduct a trade secrets audit. This audit focuses on the identification, creation, protection, enforcement, and value of a company’s trade secrets and other intellectual capital. The audit provides a buyer or seller an assessment of the company’s current risk level in relation to trade secrets, with detailed accounts of selected findings reported as issue-implication-action and with a concluding summary of potential follow-up actions.
Conducting a trade secrets audit is especially important before listing a company for sale in order to maximize the overall value of the business. It is equally, if not more so, important as a buyer to include a trade secret assessment in the due diligence phase in order to assess the true value of the business. Also after a change of ownership, there is normally a higher risk that key employees may decide to leave the company. For this reason, a buyer will want to ensure that the pre-acquisition valuation remains consistent by limiting the risks that employee departures result in the use of the company’s trade secrets and confidential business information in competing businesses. This is especially true if those employees are not bound by non-compete restrictions or those restrictions run the risks of being unenforceable.
Experience to Lead an Internal Investigation of Trade Secret and Computer Misconduct
We routinely collaborate with employers to investigate workplace incidents and allegations of misconduct involving computer crimes and trade secret theft. We have also assisted employers to respond to and conduct internal company investigations that involved actions that were simultaneously being investigated by local law enforcement as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Defending Against Trade Secret Misappropriation and Non-compete Lawsuits
Our non-compete lawyers also understand that companies, executives, successful sales-people, and other professionals may be the target of an over aggressive former employer improperly trying to eliminate legitimate competition. In this regard, the litigators at Shinn Legal also have the experience to aggressively defend individuals and companies who have been wrongfully accused of violating non-compete agreements, stealing customers, or using trade secret and confidential information to engage in unfair competition.
Why our Michigan Non-Compete Experience Matters
The non-compete lawyers at Shinn Legal have significant experience representing both companies and employees in non-compete lawsuits (also referred to as restrictive covenants). While many lawyers dabble in non-compete law, our non-compete lawyers focus on this area and, therefore, likely understand every possible variation and nuance under Michigan non-compete law. If your company relies on its trade secrets and non-compete agreements to be successful, do you want a lawyer who dabbles in Michigan trade secret and non-compete law or a lawyer who knows and understands both?
Additionally, the experience our non-compete lawyers have representing both companies and employees gives us the insight to provide a balanced, practical approach for drafting enforceable non-compete agreements that are intended to hold up in court when you need it most.
For more information, contact attorney Jason Shinn who leads the Trade Secret and Noncompete Practice Group. Ask about our trade secret and non-compete assessment plan, which includes reviewing your trade secret program and non-compete agreements and making recommendations for improving both.
Also, subscribe to the Michigan Employment Law Advisor, our free resource that regularly discusses employment law issues, including non-compete and trade secret matters.