Peter Steinmeyer ,a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice and the Managing Shareholder of the firm’s Chicago office, was quoted in an article titled “Top 5 Rulings That Shaped Noncompete Law in 2013.” (Read the full version — subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
An Illinois appeals court decision on what constitutes a valid noncompete and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling voicing full-throated support for enforcing forum selection clauses top the list of 2013’s most significant developments for lawyers who deal with restrictive covenants. ?…
Epstein Becker Green’s Peter Steinmeyer said he saw the Fifield matter as the most significant noncompete case of 2013.
“The state Supreme Court declined to take the case and that’s presumably because they thought it was correct, or because the Supreme Court is waiting for a circuit split within the state to develop,” Steinmeyer said. “In the meantime, employers and lawyers who advise them are left with tremendous uncertainty in Illinois as to what is adequate consideration for a restrictive covenant.”
Though the appeals court appeared to set a bright-line rule that two years of continued employment is needed to constitute the adequate consideration that will render a noncompete enforceable, employers in Illinois now have to grapple with lingering questions about what other perks — like a promotion, stock options or a cash bonus — will be deemed adequate to back up such an agreement, according to Steinmeyer.