An employment contract or other contract for work will often include a provision to restrict an employee’s ability to compete with his or her former employer.


Employment rules and regulations often restrict the circumstances under which a former employer may enforce a non-competition agreement from an employment contract or a work contract. That is because the law weighs the former employer’s contractual rights against the interests of a former employee to earn a living.

Non-compete agreements exist largely because employers have a need to protect their trade secrets. Information can be classified as a trade secret where it is valuable because of its secrecy, and its owner takes reasonable measures to protect that secrecy.

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Employees frequently come in contact with trade secrets in the course of their work. When such an employee strikes out on his or her own, it can become critical to the former employer to prevent the loss or compromise of those trade secrets. Few employers can afford the loss of their trade secrets, because they form the foundation of their business advantage. For that reason, enforcing non-competition agreements is often mission-critical to an employer, and well worth undertaking litigation.

By the same token, the person bound to an employment contract bearing a non-compete agreement often must continue making a living, no matter what the costs. For these reasons, litigation over non-competition agreements can be extremely hard-fought and high-stakes.



Time – Can’t compete within a specific time frame.
Distance – Can’t compete within a certain distance.
Type – Can’t compete as the same type of business.

Eric Helmy

Business Litigation Attorney


  • 100% Satisfaction with Communication
         Eric helped represent me with a very large lawsuit that was brought against me. 100% satisfaction with communication. It was timely; it was appropriate; it was insightful, thoughtful. From beginning to end, it was very clear that my legal counsel, Eric Helmy was by far the better warrior, so to speak, the intellectually, strategically, and we clearly outthought the opposition from beginning to end, and I don’t think they knew what hit them. The opposition didn’t have any choice but to really retreat and drop the suit, so I was very satisfied.
    Aloysius Fobia, M.D. Physician in Portland, Oregon
  • He'll Respond to Me When I Need Him.
         …I believe my law case never would have got off the ground without Eric’s attention to what was happening to me. I’m an excavator, in the tough times that have come along, there’s been several instances where the big developers think they’re not going to pay me, and I feel like they’re trying to [take advantage of] me. I can call Eric,…and he’ll come down and go sit in a meeting with me and all these big developers are writing checks before we’re getting up and leaving. …It’s nice to know that I have him on retainer, and he’ll respond for me when I need him. That’s the personal service you’ll get with him…
    Brad Bartlett Bartlett Excavation & Construction, LLC
  • We Left With Important Information and a Plan
         Our first meeting with Eric was very helpful. We left with important information and a plan, and now we have our own corporation! Eric was invaluable in the writing of our bylaws and in advising our business setup. He also had great insights into owning a business in the Northwest. Having him on our company’s side makes us feel ready for the legal hurdles we will face as our business grows.
    Jaclyn Stewart CEO of Jurevicious Studios
  • We are Very Pleased
         …We’ve worked with Eric on two different contract matters and [have] been very, very pleased with his advice and all the support he’s provided to members of our organization…We were really, really pleased with the quality of work Eric delivered, all the due diligence he performed, the advice he gave to the members of our staff…We would certainly recommend Eric, and we would hope to work with him again.
    Alice Forbes