our colleagues Peter A. Steinmeyer, Erik W. Weibustand Angel A. Perez co-authored an article in Thomson Reuters Practical Law’s The Journalentitled “Restrictive Covenants: Ethical Issues for Attorneys.”
Following is an excerpt:
Companies across the US commonly use non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants to protect the company’s legitimate business interests. These agreements are used with employees at all levels but often focus on those with access to the company’s trade secrets and confidential information. In-house attorneys, in particular, may take on non-legal, business roles that expose them to sensitive information that the company seeks to protect from competitors and public disclosure.
As attorneys switch law firms or move in-house during their careers, they may be asked to sign non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements. Before entering into these agreements, attorneys should consider whether the agreements are permitted under their state’s professional ethics rules. This article discusses some of the key ethical issues for attorneys to consider in the context of restrictive covenants.