For Las Vegas companies, the protection of confidential information such as client lists and methods of doing business is often vital to success. Many businesses recognize this, and proactively require their workers to sign contracts that include non-complete clauses and restrictions on disclosing trade secrets. If employees who sign these agreements begin working for a direct competitor or leak confidential data, their former employers may choose to settle the business disputes through contract and trade secret litigation.
In a recent Delaware lawsuit, AlixPartners is taking aim at two of its former executives. The suit claims that one of these employees breached his contract and that they both provided stolen trade secrets to a new employer. The plaintiff is a corporation with an international presence, and the two executives were based in Asia. Both former employees have taken positions with McKinsey RTS, a competitor of AlixPartners.
The breach of contract claim contends that one of the defendants was barred from working for a competitor for 12 months, and that by taking a job with McKinsey he violated that non-compete clause. The trade secrets that were allegedly stolen were contained in electronic documents and emails, and included a review of business strategies and a list of equity contacts.
There are many confidentiality issues that executives and management teams must consider, especially in businesses that rely heavily on cultivating client contacts and developing internal strategies. If you are a corporate decision-maker and would like know your legal options for settling an intellectual property dispute or breach of contract issue, you may find it beneficial to consult with an attorney.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “AlixPartners Accuses Directors Heading to McKinsey of Trade-Secret Theft,” Ashby Jones, April 10, 2014.