M&A attorneys representing buyers, and their private equity and strategic clients, have long felt comfortable that the courts would uphold restrictive covenants in an acquisition. Even if the restrictive covenant at hand was perhaps somewhat broader than necessary, buyers and their counsel believed that the courts would judiciously apply their “blue pencil” to reform an overbroad covenant to make it enforceable. They also believed that by picking Delaware law and Delaware courts to hear any dispute, their restrictive covenants would be upheld by a court that has a well-deserved reputation for enforcing contracts.Continue Reading A Delaware Surprise: Busting the Limits of Enforceability of Non-Competes in an M&A Transaction under Delaware Law
The ongoing saga of DC’s controversial Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (the “Act”) logged another chapter last week when the DC Council passed a further amendment delaying the effective date of the Act from April 1, 2022, until October 1, 2022. The Act, which was originally passed in December 2020, would prohibit employers from utilizing non-compete agreements, a statutory ban which has been adopted in certain other states, but would also prohibit employers from utilizing anti-moonlighting provisions or other “duty of loyalty” policies for DC employees. This latter prohibition would be a first-of-its-kind ban, and would prohibit employer policies which are generally viewed as both reasonable and non-controversial, even in states that have taken a negative view toward post-employment restrictive covenants.
Continue Reading The Effective Date of DC’s Non-Compete Ban Delayed Yet Again