Practice Areas

Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets and Fiduciary Duties

LLFW has extensive experience handling actual or potential disputes involving the employment agreements of high-level executives. LLFW regularly litigates and provides counseling, both to corporations and executives, on matters relating to the construction and enforceability of non-competition provisions, prohibitions on the post-employment solicitation of the employer's clients and employees, and other restrictive covenants in executive employment agreements; the fiduciary duties of officers, managing directors and other high-level employees of corporations; the fiduciary duties of corporate board members; and the protection of a company's trade secrets and other confidential or proprietary information. The clients that LLFW has represented in employment matters reflect the wide range of industries in which high-level executives are subject to post-employment contractual and common law constraints. Our clients include investment banks, commercial banks, telecommunications companies, technology services companies and mortgage lenders, as well as senior executives within those industries.

The employment-related matters in which LLFW is regularly engaged range from those requiring emergency applications for injunctive relief to prevent an ex-employee's misappropriation of proprietary information, to the defense of corporate officers and directors against allegations of fiduciary violations, to the counseling of senior officers or managing directors on their contractual rights and obligations under non-competition and non-solicitation provisions in their employment agreements. The following matters are representative of LLFW's work in this area:

  • LLFW obtained a preliminary injunction, and ultimately a favorable settlement, on behalf of a major investment bank in a federal litigation brought by the bank against a former managing director who misappropriated confidential information upon his resignation from the bank and engaged in other alleged breaches of his fiduciary obligations.
  • LLFW obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a major New York City-based mortgage lender in the context of an application for a preliminary injunction against a high-ranking mortgage consultant to enforce the non-competition and non-solicitation covenants in his employment agreement with the bank.
  • LLFW obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of the outside directors of a film production company in a federal litigation brought against them by the company's primary institutional lender, for breach of fiduciary duty, based on their alleged lack of oversight of the company's management and financial affairs.
  • As part of an arbitration on behalf of venture capital investors who acquired a majority interest in an outdoor advertising company, LLFW successfully enforced the non-competition agreement, entered into by the former principal of the company as part of the acquisition, whose breach triggered a default under the investors' loan agreement with the company.
  • LLFW counseled a senior executive in a European branch of a global management consulting firm regarding the potential implications, relating to his non-competition agreement, of his contemplated employment with a competing company in a different part of Europe.