Non-Compete Agreements

Non-Compete Agreements

McBride Law Offices, P.C. concentrates its practice on representing employees with legal issues related to employment or prospective employment. Whether you have already signed an agreement with a noncompete or nonsolict provision, or you have been presented an agreement with either of these restrictions, it is critical that an attorney with specialized knowledge review the agreement and any relate documents. Matthew L. McBride III, owner and Principal of McBride Law Offices, P.C. possesses specialized knowledge and experience in this area of the law.

Mr. McBride is the author of “Noncompete Agreements in Illinois After Reliable Fire” which analyzes how the noncompete agreements should be analyzed after the Illinois Supreme Court’s Opinion in Reliable Fire v. Arredondo. He has litigated employment disputes against large Firms representing employers of all size, and done so with great success. However, success is not always obtained by prevailing after lengthy and costly litigation. Hence, Mr. McBride takes great pride in avoiding litigation if possible, rather than wasting precious Client resources in the judicial process that can be lengthy and unpredictable.

The most common service offered by the Firm is a review of the agreement containing the noncompete and/or nonsolicit provision(s). This review can be conducted through an in-office consultation, or via telephone if more convenient for the Client. During the meeting, Mr. McBride will thoroughly review the agreement with the client, identify any problem areas of the agreement, provide feedback, answer any specific questions about the document or the scenario presented, and inform the client about how an Illinois court is likely to rule if called upon to consider the agreement. The review is performed through a flat fee which is far less than most hourly rates of other Chicagoland lawyers with less experience. The lower fee structure is available as the Firm leverages technology and its extensive experience to streamline the review process while still maintaining needed attention to the details related to each client.

The Firm also works with prospective employers and its Clients to assure a smooth transition process if the employee has a non-compete or non-solicit agreement but has moved on to new employment. On occasion this scenario presents itself when an employee or his/her new employer receives a “cease and desist” communication from the former employer. Mr. McBride can respond to this cease and desist letter, offer potential solutions to the dispute, and often prevent further escalation of the matter. He often works with a Client’s new employer to defend the threats from the former employer. On occasion, the new employer will agree to pay the Client’s attorney’s fees and for the Firm to negotiate and/or litigate the matter.

Effective January 1, 2022, the Illinois Freedom to Work Act goes into effect. This creates a $75,000 annual income threshold for noncompete agreements and employees. It also creates a $45,000 annual income threshold for nonsolicit agreements, including those agreements seeking to prevent solicitation of company employees or customers.  The Illinois Supreme Court applies a fact specific test to determine whether or not a restrictive covenant is enforceable in Illinois. After applying this test, many non-compete and non-solicit agreements will be overbroad, usually due to excessive time and/or geographic limitations. The agreement will also may contain overbroad clauses related to supposed confidential information and/or trade secrets. Further, the agreement may not have been in effect long enough to be enforceable under Illinois law.

McBride Law Offices, P.C. will analyze the agreement and apply Illinois law to the particular facts related to each client. Ultimately, it is the goal of the Firm that every Client be fully informed about how Illinois law relates to the supposed restrictions within the agreement. If litigation has already commenced, Mr. McBride can defend the employee in litigation and/or seek a declaration from the court that the agreement is unenforceable.

Contact the Firm at 847-394-3300 or for a free consultation.