St.Pete Florida Non-Compete Attorney

Cantrell Astbury Kranz, P.A., known as Premier Litigators, provides legal counsel and representation on non-compete agreements in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida. Unlike most law firms, non-compete disputes is our core practice area. We consider ourselves “the” law firm for important non-compete and other competition related legal services. Our legal services include counseling on and handling lawsuits involving non-competes, non-solicits, and non-disclosure agreements. We also handle other unfair competition related claims, such as tortious interference, defamation, misappropriation of trade secrets, deceptive and false practices, trademark infringement, civil theft, and breach of contract. For a free consultation, contacted us at 877-858-6868 or coordinator@premierlitigators.com

Non-compete provisions can prevent an individual from starting their own company or working for a competitor. We understand the serious nature of non-compete agreements. We strongly recommend a careful review and understanding of non-compete agreements before disseminating (for companies) or signing (for individuals). We are regularly hired by individuals and companies in connection with transitioning of employment, with a focus on minimizing legal exposure. Examples of our clients include:

  • Sales professionals (in all industries)
  • Physicians and other health care professionals
  • Recruiters
  • Engineers
  • CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other c-suite executives
  • Insurance agents
  • Benefits brokers
  • Real estate agents and investors
  • Financial advisors
  • Marketing and SEO specialists
  • Salon stylists
  • IT specialists

Florida Non-Compete Dispute Expertise

We have substantial experience handling non-compete disputes throughout Florida, including in Pinellas County. We are experts in Florida non-compete laws. Due to our expertise, we regularly provide legal seminars to other attorneys on Florida non-compete law, which is primarily governed by Florida Statute § 542.335 .

We encourage potential clients to review our client testimonials or speak with one of our employment attorneys. Our attorneys attended top U.S. law schools, ranging from Harvard Law to University of Florida and Florida State University. Many of our attorneys clerked for federal judges, which care considered highly prestigious and hard to obtain positions. Apart from top tier credentials, our St. Pete lawyers have incredibly extensive experience in non-compete lawsuits and business litigation generally. Our Florida-based attorneys have all obtained the honors of “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbel  (peer-view) and Florida Super Lawyers  status (peer review).

We are passionate about fair competition. That is why we only take on client causes that we believe in. We don’t represent all prospective clients with not compete concerns. More specifically, while we defend against lawsuits claiming breach of non-competes, non-solicits, or non-disclosures, we do not sue individuals to enforce such provisions absent compelling circumstances. Many times, non-disclosure and non-solicit agreements are sufficient to protect a former employer’s business interests without the need for a non-compete.

To speak with one of our St. Pete non-compete lawyers, contact us at 877-858-6868 or coordinator@premierlitigators.com.

Non-Competes, Non-Solicits, and Non-Disclosures in St. Petersburg, Florida

Individuals and companies hire us for all matters relating to restrictive covenants in the workplace. “Restrictive covenant” is a generic term that includes non-competes, non-solicits, and non-disclosures. Below provides examples of our services for individuals and companies.

Individual Representation. We represent individuals in non-compete matters, including for example medical professionals, sales representatives, executives, and entrepreneurs.  Examples of matters where we represent individuals include:

  • Assessing enforceability of non-competes and non-solicits in Florida, including those in Pinellas County. Most often, this is the reason individuals contact us. We provide detailed and practical guidance for individuals seeking to understand their rights and obligations under their employment agreements.
  • Counseling individuals who are considering changing jobs or starting their own companies on what they should do and not do to minimize the chances they are sued by a prior employer or business partner over a non-compete, non-solicit, or non-disclosure agreement.
  • Responding to cease-and-desist letters. Generally, it is critical that a detailed and timely response be provided by an experienced attorney to a cease-and-desist letter. Failing to respond may result in a lawsuit.
  • Defending individuals in non-compete, non-solicit, and non-disclosure related lawsuits filed in Florida, including in Pinellas County and the surrounding counties.

 

Company Representation. Examples of non-compete type matters that businesses hire us for include:

  • Drafting reasonable employee restrictive covenants and vendor non-disclosure agreements, executive compensation agreements, independent contractor agreements, and related policies and procedures. We stay abreast of the law and trends to ensure our agreements are cutting edge.
  • Assisting multi-state employees with determining the most ideal venue and choice of law provisions for their agreements.
  • Providing guidance on protection of confidential business information.
  • Assessing enforceability and potential violations of non-competes, non-solicits, non-disclosures, and other contractual terms.
  • Vetting potential new hires for restrictive covenant concerns, including non-compete and non-solicit issues.
  • Serving as defense counsel for non-compete lawsuits, which often involve claims of breach of contract, tortious inference, misappropriation of trade secrets, civil conspiracy, and defamation.
  • When appropriate, enforcing restrictive covenants.  

Contact us at 877-858-6868 or coordinator@premierlitigators.com.

Success Stories

We have represented literally hundreds of clients with respect to non-compete agreements and related business litigation. Here are a few examples of success stories and client engagements:

  • Obtained dismissal of Florida lawsuit filed in Pinellas County against former employee of Florida-based solar company asserting claims of unfair competition, unjust enrichment, and unfair and deceptive trade practices.
  • Defeated national salon’s bid for a temporary injunction against former hair stylist in Sarasota, Florida.
  • Represented an insurance agent based in Tampa and convinced prior employer, a Florida-based insurance company, that its non-compete and non-solicit agreement were unenforceable under Florida law. Obtained written approval that insurance company would abandon any efforts to enforce the agreement against the former agent, prior to any lawsuit being filed.
  • Defended a medical supply company and certain sales employees of that company in a multi-state federal lawsuit in Tampa and Maryland, involving claims of breach of non-compete agreement and tortious interference against clients. The opposing party, a national medical supply company, originally sought over a quarter million in damages and to enforce 24 months of a non-compete agreement against the sales employees. Prior to injunction hearing, resolved case with no damages being paid and dramatically reduced and narrowed the terms of the disputed non-competes and non-solicits.
  • Successfully defeated Brooksville-based trucking company’s motion for temporary injunction against prior owner of company. The trucking company alleged the prior owner violated the non-compete provision in a sale agreement. We not only defeated the motion, but also won attorney’s fees for client.
  • Obtained complete dismissal of federal lawsuit filed by national recruiting agency against several former employees asserting claims of unfair competition, defamation, tortious inference, and RICO.
  • Obtained injunctive on behalf of a national home health care agency based in Miami, Florida against several former employees and their new employer in connection with claims involving trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duties, and breach of non-solicits.
  • Obtained substantial damages on behalf of a Dunedin, Florida hospital against former physician who opened competing practice less than 5-miles from the hospital and directly solicited former patients in violation of non-compete and non-solicit in physician employment agreement.
  • Successfully obtained temporary injunction in Florida state court on behalf of leading electrical supply company against former executive in connection with breach of non-solicit agreement.
  • Successfully negotiated, pre-lawsuit, on behalf of a national fitness gym franchisee in Tampa, Florida to hire a manager who worked at another national fitness gym franchise and had a non-compete agreement. Prior to our involvement, the fitness facility had threatened to sue our client and the former manager and sought substantial damages. The settlement resulted in our client hiring the general manger, no lawsuit, and paying less than 10% of the amount originally demanded.
  • On multiple occasions, successfully recovered substantial damages for clients who were threatened with non-compete lawsuits after determining their former employer not only had an unenforceable non-compete agreement but also failed to pay wages properly.
  • Negotiated over 50 employment agreements, non-compete agreements, and severance agreements on behalf of highly compensated individuals, including top sales professionals, high level executives, in-house counsel, and entrepreneurs at start-ups.

What to Look for in a St. Peterburg, Pinellas County Non-Compete Lawyer

When looking for a St. Pete Florida non-compete lawyer, compare the background of the lawyers you are considering. Apart from subject matter experience, consider the educational background, references, past results, and fees.

We are glad to share references for clients who have hired us for non-compete counseling or lawsuit representation, ranking from highly compensated executives and top sales professionals to blue collar workers and salon stylist. If you need an experienced non-compete attorney in St. Pete, contact us.

We handle non-compete and non-solicit agreement disputes throughout Florida, including, St. PeteSt. Pete Beach , ClearwaterOrlandoSarasotaFort MyersMiami, West Palm Beach, Fort LauderdaleJacksonville, Key West, Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Gainesville.

FAQs and Non-Compete Educational Materials

We have created a substantial educational materials regarding Florida non-competes, including frequently asked questions. Our Florida Non-Compete FAQs can be found here . You can also find a substantial number of our non-compete related articles and insights here.

St. Pete, Pinellas County Florida

St. Pete is in Pinellas County , Florida. It is one of the three primary cities in the Tampa Bay area, which incudes Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater. There are several courts located in Pinellas County, Florida, including a state court . Non-compete lawsuits are generally filed in state court. Under limited circumstances, non-compete lawsuits can also be in federal court.

To speak with one of our attorneys, contact us at 877-858-6868 or coordinator@premierlitigators.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether a non-compete governed by Florida law is enforceable is governed by Florida Statute 542.335 . Under that statute, the business seeking to enforce a non-compete agreement against a former employee or independent contractor must prove:

  • That the restrictive covenants at issue (generally a non-compete, non-solicit, and/or non-disclosure) is supported by legitimate business interest;
  • That the restrictive covenants are not broader than necessary to protect the legitimate business interests; and
  • That the agreement is signed by the former employee.

 

The term “legitimate business interest” is defined by the statute to include, among other interests, protecting confidential information, substantial customer relationships, and goodwill associated with marketingareas and intellectual property.

There are usually many fact-based arguments to be made on behalf of defendants that non-compete provisions (as opposed to non-solicit or non-disclosure provisions) should not be enforced.

Apart from the three requirements above, the Florida non-compete statute also allows former employees and independent contractors to argue that restrictive covenants should not be enforced for a number of other reasons.

For example, restrictive covenants cannot be enforced if the original agreement was assigned to a new business during a merger or acquisition and the agreement did not include certain required language.

As another example, courts must consider any equitable defenses. “Equitable” defenses are broad and could include, for example, being terminated for unlawful reasons or not being paid all wages due.

 

Depending on the circumstances, many other arguments may exist for individuals to prevent the enforceability of non-compete agreements governed by Florida law. It is important to speak with a Florida non-compete lawyer to know your rights. Contact us at 1-877-858-6868 or coordinator@premierlitigators.com.

There are many ways to potentially defeat a non-compete agreement governed by Florida law. For instance, there are often commen defects in the language of the agreement. There are also common defenses to leverage in Florida non-compete disputes. Finally, when a company sends a cease and desist letter threatening to enforce a non-compete agreement, it is important to respond properly.


For an overview of how to protect, see our article on “Best Practices for Defending Against Non-Compete Agreements”.

Florida state circuit courts, including the circuit court in Pinellas County, can enforce non-compete agreements that are violated. A business that wins a non-compete lawsuit may be able to obtain several types of relief, including monetary damages, a temporary or permanent injunction, and attorney’s and court-related costs. Depending on the claims asserted, punitive damages may also be available.

 

Florida non-compete lawsuits should be taken very seriously and a non-compete lawyer should be hired to defend the lawsuit.

Florida state circuit courts, including the circuit courts based in St. Pete and Clearwater Florida, have the power to issue temporary injunctions. Temporary injunctions are governed by Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.610.

Under that rule, Florida courts can issue temporary injunctions without notice to the defendant (called “ex parte”) or with notice at a court hearing. Generally, Florida courts will require an evidentiary hearing at which testimony and evidence will be presented to the judge.

If the judge grants a temporary injunction in Florida, the court will order that the defendant comply with the non-compete agreement as it is written or as it is modified by the judge. The judge has the power to modify or narrow the non-compete agreement. Regardless, a court granting a temporary injunction in a non-compete case will often result in the defendant no longer being able to continue with their business or job.

If you are sued for breach of contract for allegedly breaching a non-compete, non-solicit, or non-disclosure of confidential information agreement, it is important to speak with an employment or business litigation attorney who specializes in non-compete defense. At Premier Litigators, we have substantial experience in this area of law. Contact us at 1-877-858-6868 or coordinator@premierlitigators.com.

The best time to negotiate a non-compete agreement is before you are sued, whether that is while you are still employed, before you take an action that breaches the agreement, or after receiving a cease-and-desist letter. Defending a lawsuit is always much more expensive than resolving a dispute pre-lawsuit.

Before negotiating, it is important to know your rights and obligations, including the extent of the enforceability of a non-compete or non-solicit agreement. It is also important to not engage in negotiations, whether via verbal discussions or in writing, before first speaking with an attorney who is experienced in defending against enforceable non-compete agreements. That is because, in the event that negotiations fail, anything you say or put in writing during negotiations can generally be used in a lawsuit against you.

In rare situations where negotiations fail, it may be prudent to file a lawsuit first in the form of a declaration judgment action, including any other claims you may have against a prior employer. At Premier Litigators, we have substantial experience representing clients in negotiations with prior employers, including non-compete agreements and severance agreements. Contact us today at 1-877-858-6868 or coordinator@premierlitigators.com.

What to Look for in a St. Pete Florida Non-Compete Attorney

As a reminder, when looking for a St. Pete Florida non-compete lawyer, you are encouraged to compare the background of the St. Pete Florida non-compete lawyers you are considering. Apart from subject matter experience, consider the educational background, past results, and what references say about their own experiences. At Premier Litigators, we are glad to share references, from individual business owners and executives to mid-sized companies and Fortune 500 companies. If you or your company is considering a top Florida non-compete attorney in St. Pete, consider Premier Litigators.

We handle non-compete disputes throughout Florida, including, for example, the cities of Tampa, Clearwater, OrlandoSarasotaFort MyersMiami, West Palm Beach, Fort LauderdaleJacksonville, Key West, Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Gainesville.