Making Non Compete Agreements That Stick

Non-compete agreements can be useful for protecting valuable  business interests.  But to be effective, their terms and their application by  the employer must meet numerous new standards recently established by the Illinois Supreme Court, and the Illinois Appellate Court.  Until 2011, Illinois  law generally disfavored non-compete agreements, and employers struggled to  draft non-compete agreements that could hold up in court.  However, in December  of 2011, the Illinois Supreme Court handed employers a roadmap for testing the  enforceability of a non-compete provision, when it reversed a long series of  cases that relied upon the “legitimate business interest test”, which the Court  held to be too restrictive.  By adopting a much more reasoned “totality of the  circumstances test,” the Court expanded the basis for a business to successfully  argue that its non-compete agreement was enforceable against its employees.   This decision was good news for Illinois business owners.  However, soon after  this decision became the law, the Illinois Appellate court threw another  roadblock into the mix.  Now the employer must provide adequate consideration to  at-will employees before a non-compete agreement can be enforced against them.

Do the terms of your non-compete agreement satisfy the latest  standards established by the courts in Illinois?  Can your non-compete agreement  protect your business interests? Only a business attorney with clear knowledge of the current law, and a practice that regularly involves the preparation and  enforcement of non-compete agreements, can help you.  Winick & Gallaher, P.C. are business attorneys who know non-compete agreements, and  they can review yours and assist you to make it enforceable.