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Practice Areas

Executive Employment Disputes

Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Fiduciary Duties and Unfair Competition

LLF has extensive experience handling actual or potential disputes involving the employment agreements of high-level executives. LLF 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 LLF 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 LLF 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 LLF's work in this area:

  • LLF 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.
  • LLF 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.
  • LLF 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, LLF 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.
  • LLF 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.

Employment and Severance Agreements

Outside the litigation context, LLF routinely counsels corporations on their standard executive employment agreements, particularly non-competition provisions restricting post-employment work for competitors and provisions prohibiting the post-employment solicitation of a company's clients, customers or employees. We both advise companies on such issues as the enforceability of restrictive covenants under the law in particular jurisdictions, and draft or rewrite such provisions in their employment agreements applicable to senior executives.

LLF also from time to time represents corporations and senior executives in the negotiation and implementation of individual employment or severance agreements. As a recent example, LLF negotiated a severance agreement, foreclosing possible litigation, on behalf of the general counsel of a division of one of the major American broadcast networks.

Levi Lubarsky & Feigenbaum llp
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