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Injunctions: Protection for Plaintiffs in New York Non-Compete Actions

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In a recent New York Supreme Court ruling, an injunction was issued banning Peter Arkley, the former chief executive officer of Aon Construction Services Group, from conducting business with any clients of Aon’s that he produced or whose accounts he had worked on during the two-year period preceding June 13, 2011. He was also banned from poaching Aon employees to work for Alliant Insurance Services, a competitor of Aon’s that now employs Arkley. 

The injunction serves as a minor victory for Aon. The company has alleged that Arkley and other former executives who also went to work for Alliant violated their New York non-compete agreements. 

While courts within the state have often sought to protect employees from the burden of unreasonable non-compete agreements in New York, these covenants are not per se unenforceable. When bringing an action for breach of a non-compete contract, injunctive relief is important to prevent further harm during what could be a lengthy court battle. Since the court in the Aon matter granted the injunction, it therefore found:

  • That Aon, the party seeking the injunction, has “clean hands,” and has not done anything that is “manifestly improper.”
  • That an injunction is based on the concept of fairness, and therefore granting it in this instance is fair to Aon.
  • That failing to give Aon the injunction could result in the company’s former employees exploiting the relationships they had with Aon clients and fellow employees gained while working for the company.
  • That Aon has a legitimate business interest worth protecting.
  • That failing to give Aon injunctive relief could result in immediate and irreparable harm.

The laws relating to non-compete agreements in New York are complex. It is therefore vital that you seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional when bringing or defending against a breach of non-compete agreement claim. To learn more about this and other business litigation matters, contact an experienced New York non-compete agreement attorney today. Call our office at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation. 

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