Overview

Companies of all sizes and in various industries call upon attorney Erik Weibust for his practical and thoughtful advice—and his aggressive representation in high-stakes trade secret, non-compete, and commercial litigation.

Many of the world's leading pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, technology, financial services, staffing, and insurance companies look to Erik for thoughtful and practical advice concerning how best to protect their trade secrets and customer relationships from misappropriation by former employees, ex-business partners, competitors, and hostile actors in the United States and abroad, and to avoid liability when hiring from competitors. When necessary, clients rely on Erik for aggressive representation in litigation, where he has won substantial victories in court and at the negotiating table, including broad-reaching injunctive relief and multimillion-dollar payouts, in trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and breach of restrictive covenant cases.

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In addition to his trade secret and restrictive covenant practice, Erik represents clients in commercial litigation matters, including franchise, distribution, and real estate disputes, to name a few. He has substantial case management experience from the early stages of litigation through the appeals process, including investigations, discovery, mediation, and trial and arbitration, as well as litigation avoidance.

His national litigation practice provides him with particular insight into how courts and arbitrators, in a variety of jurisdictions, analyze relevant issues, keeping him abreast of cutting-edge legal arguments, industry trends, and litigation strategies that he brings to bear in all of his representations. Erik regularly publishes articles and speaks locally and nationally about trade secret and restrictive covenant law, and he has been quoted on these topics in publications such as The Washington Post, Law360, and Ignites (Financial Times). He is also an editor of Epstein Becker Green’s Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility Blog

Before joining Epstein Becker Green, Erik was a Partner at an international law firm, where he served as co-chair of that firm’s Litigation Finance Task Force and co-chaired the Boston office’s Litigation Department. Before that, he clerked for the Honorable Peter W. Hall of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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Focus Areas

Experience

Pharmaceutical/Biotech/Life Sciences/Medical Device

  • Represented a publicly traded Chinese biopharmaceutical company in connection with high-profile civil and criminal trade secret litigation in federal court in California. Erik conducted an in-depth investigation and successfully convinced the plaintiff not to add Erik’s client as a defendant and avoided further inquiry by the FBI.
  • Represented a biopharmaceutical company in conjunction with the departure of one of its founders and senior executives to join a competitor as its chief scientific officer, and his misappropriation of trade secrets. Erik conducted an investigation and obtained a favorable pre-litigation settlement.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer and a top-performing sales representative in an action brought by a competitor for an injunction prohibiting the sales representative from working in a competitive role anywhere in his former sales territory for one year. Erik negotiated a very favorable settlement on the day of the injunction hearing, following statements by the judge about his likely ruling following the hearing.
  • Representing a national pharmacy services organization focused on providing care to patients with HIV and AIDS in trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation against former senior sales representatives and their new employer.
  • Defended and favorably settled claims by a staffing company against a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company concerning the direct hire of a senior validation engineer.
  • Defended and defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction to prohibit a clinical toxicology laboratory from hiring a sales representative from a competitor. The competitor voluntarily dismissed the case after denial of the competitor’s motion.
  • Defended and favorably settled claims of breach of contract and conspiracy brought against a biotech company by a competitor concerning the decision of sales representatives to leave the competitor and join the client company.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of a national medical device company from a lawsuit brought by a competitor concerning the decision of sales representatives to leave the competitor and join the client company.

Insurance/Financial Services

  • Represented the largest publicly held insurance company in the United States in an investigation of, and litigation arising out of, a conspiracy by approximately 50 independent agents, employees, and related entities to misappropriate trade secrets and manipulate commissions. There were multiple lawsuits filed in various federal courts across the country resulting in broad injunctive relief and ultimately a very favorable settlement.
  • Prosecuted claims in federal court in Kentucky on behalf of the largest publicly held insurance company in the United States against a former independent sales agent and her new agency for trade secret misappropriation and breach of restrictive covenant agreements. Erik obtained injunctive relief prohibiting the former agent from doing business with the insurance company’s clients for an additional year after the restrictions expired.
  • Defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction that would have prohibited two financial advisors, with a combined $1 billion in client assets under management, from moving their business from a high-end boutique wealth management firm to one of the oldest and largest wealth management firms in the world, invalidating the boutique’s restrictive covenant agreement in the process. The decision was upheld on appeal.
  • Prosecuted and favorably settled a claim on behalf of a national insurance brokerage firm in a suit against a former owner and director, and a competitor firm, for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of a non-compete agreement, interference with contract, and unfair competition.
  • Prosecuted and favorably settled a claim on behalf of a national insurance brokerage firm in a suit against a former broker for breach of a non-compete agreement, tortious interference, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Prosecuted separate actions against two former sales representatives of a national lending company and a competitor for violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, misappropriation of trade secrets, and unfair business practices. Erik obtained preliminary injunctions preventing the sales representatives from doing business with the client's customers despite the lack of non-compete or non-solicitation agreements.
  • Defended and favorably settled claims of breach of a non-compete agreement, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, and unfair competition against a national financial services firm and two investment advisors brought by a competitor concerning the decision of the investment advisors to leave the competitor and join the client firm.

Staffing/Recruitment

  • Prosecuted a multi-jurisdictional action involving four lawsuits in federal and state courts in Georgia and Texas on behalf of the world’s second-largest staffing firm against a competitor arising out of a competitor’s raiding of approximately 40 employees. Erik secured preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against three former employees and ultimately obtained a highly favorable settlement.
  • Prosecuted a multi-jurisdictional action in the federal courts in Georgia and Maryland on behalf of the world’s second-largest staffing firm against a former national director and two executive recruiters, arising out of the national director’s recruitment of executive recruiters to join his newly formed competing firm while still employed by Erik’s client. Erik obtained broad-reaching injunctive relief against all three employees, including one who did not have an agreement, prohibiting them from competing or soliciting staffing firm’s customers in the former employees’ territories.
  • Prosecuted a multi-jurisdictional action in the federal courts in Massachusetts and Maryland on behalf of the world’s second-largest staffing firm against former executive-level employees and a competitor for trade secret misappropriation, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, and unfair competition. Erik obtained a highly favorable settlement.
  • Prosecuted claims in federal court in Massachusetts on behalf of the world’s second-largest staffing firm against multiple former employees and a competitor for trade secret misappropriation, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, and unfair competition. Erik obtained a highly favorable settlement.
  • Prosecuted claims in federal court in New Jersey on behalf of the largest African-American-owned IT staffing solutions firm in the United States against a former California employee and his new employer for breach of a restrictive covenant agreement, tortious interference, and violations of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. Erik obtained broad injunctive relief prohibiting the former employee from working for the competitor or soliciting customers for one year from his date of termination in the San Francisco, California, area. Erik favorably settled the remaining claims.
  • Defended a Fortune 500 staffing agency and 10 of its employees in an action brought by the employee’s former employer in Massachusetts, alleging breach of non-compete agreements, interference, and unfair competition. Erik negotiated a favorable settlement following the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims in federal court.
  • Prosecuted claims in federal court in Florida on behalf of an international staffing agency against a former senior executive for theft of trade secrets, violations of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, and unfair competition. Erik obtained a broad preliminary injunction barring solicitation of the staffing agency’s clients despite the absence of a non-solicitation agreement.

Technology

  • Represented a leading travel and event technology company and a senior executive in an action brought by a competitor in a federal court in Connecticut alleging claims of trade secret misappropriation, unfair trade practices, and breach of contract. Erik obtained a highly favorable settlement following the filing of a motion to dismiss and an aggressive discovery campaign.
  • Prosecuted claims in North Carolina on behalf of an international application and network performance management company against a former senior-level salesman for breach of restrictive covenants arising out of the abrupt departure and joining of a competitor. Erik obtained a favorable settlement minutes before the preliminary injunction evidentiary hearing.
  • Prosecuted claims in Massachusetts on behalf of an international application and network performance management company against a former senior-level sales engineer for breach of restrictive covenants arising out of the abrupt departure and employment with a competitor. Erik obtained a broad preliminary injunctive relief requiring the employee to stay out of his former territory and away from certain identified customers, among other things.

Manufacturing/Industrial/Energy

  • Representing a federal contractor in international arbitration in Frankfurt, Germany, arising out of alleged poaching of a subcontractor’s employees at medical facilities on U.S. bases in Germany and Italy.
  • Prosecuted claims in federal court in Maryland on behalf of a high-end plumbing fixture manufacturer against a former senior executive for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act and breach of contract, arising out of the executive’s improper access to company systems following his resignation and subsequent employment with a competitor. Erik obtained broad injunctive relief.
  • Prosecuted claims in federal court in Virginia on behalf of a leading manufacturer against a former high-level employee for actual and threatened misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. Erik obtained preliminary and permanent injunctive relief barring the employee from using confidential information or conducting business with customers for one year, despite lack of any post-employment restrictive covenants, and an award of attorneys’ fees.
  • Prosecuted claims on behalf of the largest industrial plumbing supplier in North America in multiple jurisdictions against a competitor and eight former senior-level employees for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duties and restrictive covenant agreements, unfair competition, and conspiracy, among others, arising out of the competitor’s raiding of the entire Ohio Valley industrial group and attempted poaching of major customers. Erik reached a settlement on the eve of trial requiring a multimillion-dollar payment and extensive restrictions on hiring and solicitation of employees and customers, among other things.
  • Successfully defended a renewable energy company in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the alleged theft of trade secrets in violation of the federal Economic Espionage Act. No charges were brought.

Select Unfair Competition, Class Action, and Other Complex Commercial Litigation Experience

  • Prosecuted claims on behalf of the owner of a major professional sports team against a former operator of the team’s two Boeing 767-300 aircraft used for travel to away games arising out of the former operator’s refusal to return aircraft and related records following termination of its management agreement. Erik obtained injunctive relief in Massachusetts Superior Court requiring the return of the two aircraft, and ultimately prevailed on substantial damages claims (and defeated counterclaims seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages) following a five-day hearing (via Zoom) before a panel of three distinguished arbitrators.
  • Defended a leading clinical toxicology laboratory at a multi-day arbitration hearing against claims by a former sales contractor claiming upwards of $65 million in unpaid commissions and interest over nine years. Erik successfully disposed of numerous claims (including those providing for multiple damages and attorneys’ fees), limiting the damages period to three months and total damages to well under 1 percent of the claim.
  • Defended and obtained a complete defense verdict following a five-day arbitration on behalf of the founder and former CEO of an early-stage pharmaceutical company, in a suit brought by the company alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract arising out of alleged misrepresentations concerning the status of the FDA approval process.
  • Represented a leading clinical toxicology laboratory in a multistate lawsuit against a competitor alleging unfair competition arising out of the competitor’s illegal kickbacks to customers. Erik prevailed on summary judgment on the competitor’s unfair competition and tortious interference counterclaims arising out of alleged billing fraud and obtained a highly favorable settlement on the eve of trial. Erik also coordinated with criminal defense counsel representing the client and its executives in connection with related Department of Justice investigation and qui tam action.
  • Defended and obtained a complete defense verdict following a seven-day jury trial in New Jersey on behalf of a high-end millwork manufacturer and installer, in a suit brought by the former president and shareholder of the company for breach of shareholder and employment agreements. In addition, Erik prosecuted and recovered substantial damages on counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and failure to repay loans and cash advances.
  • Defended and obtained summary judgment on the eve of trial on behalf of a national telecommunications company in a patent infringement case brought by a former employee.

Select Real Estate and Franchise/Distribution Litigation Experience

  • Defended a national supermarket chain against claims of unfair business practices, tortious interference, and conspiracy by an abutting landowner in Massachusetts arising out of a failed development deal. Erik obtained the complete dismissal of claims on summary judgment following two years of discovery and a final demand prior to summary judgment of $8 million.
  • Prosecuted claims in federal court in Massachusetts on behalf of an APAC distributor of a U.S. medical device manufacturer for breach of distribution agreement and unfair business practices. Erik obtained a favorable settlement after defeating a motion to dismiss.
  • Obtained a substantial judgment on behalf of a leading manufacturer of high-end audio equipment in an international arbitration against a Chilean distributor for breach of a distribution agreement arising out of the distributor’s sale of equipment on the gray market in Europe and failure to pay amounts owed under the distribution agreement.
  • Represent the largest convenience store chain in the world in real estate litigation nationally, including landlord/tenant disputes and disputes with abutters, contractors, and governmental entities.
  • Prosecuted multiple successful actions in various states on behalf of the largest convenience store chain in the world against franchisees resulting in injunctive relief requiring immediate eviction of franchisees and surrender of inventory and intellectual property.
  • Defended a large government contractor in a dispute with a former landlord over unpaid rent and termination fee. Erik obtained a very favorable settlement, substantially reducing the amount owed.
  • Defended owner of a premier office building in Boston in a dispute with a tenant regarding alleged damage to the tenant’s property resulting from a roof leak. Erik obtained a very favorable settlement.

Select Labor & Employment Litigation Experience

  • Represented a national telecommunications company during an employee strike. Erik obtained an injunction from a three-judge panel, following a multi-day evidentiary hearing, barring the union from certain strike-related activities, effectively ending the strike.
  • Defended and obtained a complete defense verdict following a jury trial on behalf of a national financial services firm and its CEO and CFO, in a suit brought by a former senior vice president of the firm for tortious interference with his employment relationship. Erik represented the client on appeal, where the verdict was upheld.
  • Defended and obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national telecommunications company in a discrimination and retaliation suit brought by a former employee. Erik represented the client on appeal, where the verdict was upheld.
  • Obtained dismissal of a Wage Act claim against an insurance brokerage company and its former CEO brought by a former executive of the company.

Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Trade Secrets Law (2024)
  • The Legal 500 United States, Recommended in Trade Secrets (Litigation and Non-Contentious Matters) (2017 to 2023)
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, “Go To Lawyer” for Business Litigation (2022)
  • New England Rising Stars, Business Litigation (2008 to 2019)

Credentials

Education

  • Northeastern University School of Law (J.D., 2005)
  • University of Vermont (B.A., magna cum laude, 2002)

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association (2006 to Present)
    • Restrictive Covenants/Tortious Interference Sub-Committee of the Business Torts & Unfair Competition Committee, Co-Chair (2018 to Present)
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
    • Trade Secrets Law Committee, Chair (2021 to Present)
    • Trade Secrets Law Committee, Vice Chair (2018 to 2020)
    • Annual Trade Secrets Law Summit Planning Committee, Member (2014 to Present)
  • Best Buddies Massachusetts State Advisory Board (2006 to 2012)
  • Boston Bar Association (2006 to Present)
  • Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA), Trade Secret Committee, Co-Chair (2021 to Present)
  • Elbridge Gerry School Building Committee (Marblehead, Massachusetts) (2016 to 2021)
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Future Leaders Program (2010)
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Trial Skills Program (2013)
  • Salvation Army Greater Boston Advisory Board (2009 to 2016)
  • The Sedona Conference, Working Group on Trade Secrets (WG12) (2017 to Present)
    • Monetary Remedies in Trade Secret Disputes Drafting Committee, Co-Lead (2018-present)
  • Victim Rights Law Center, Shining Star Gala Committee (2018 and 2019)

Media

Events

Insights

Insights

Spilling Secrets Podcast Series

Erik is a co-host of Spilling Secrets, a podcast series on the future of trade secrets and non-compete law. Each episode features an all-star panel of attorneys talking about real-life problems, developments, and strategies when dealing with trade secrets, non-competes, and other types of restrictive covenants.
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