Non-Compete & Trade Secrets

Burr & Forman’s Non-Compete and Trade Secrets service group comprises litigation and transactional attorneys throughout the firm’s Southeastern footprint.

The group’s members are focused on the representation and counseling of businesses in connection with all types of unfair competition issues, including those involving non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements, and employee raiding, trade secrets, and employee loyalty. Our attorneys have years of experience in these areas and are often called upon to write articles, present seminars and comment in the media. We stay up-to-the-minute on news and developments relating to non-compete and trade secrets law, and apprise our clients and the public of such through our blog, located at

In today’s competitive and mobile employment landscape, almost all types of businesses require our group’s expertise and services. Accordingly, the group’s attorneys have represented banks, financial services companies, consulting firms, technology companies, medical practices, insurance companies, media and publishing businesses, franchisors, and a wide variety of sales-oriented businesses. The services we provide to our clients include the following:

Drafting Non-Compete Agreements

The key for employers in preventing unfair competition by a departing employee is to have a comprehensive and effective non-compete agreement for executive-level, sales and other employees with access to customers and/or confidential information. Depending on a client’s particular needs and goals, these agreements will often have provisions addressing all or some combination of the following: non-competition; confidentiality/non-disclosure; non-solicitation of customers; return of employer property; trade secrets protection; non-recruitment of employees; and ownership of intellectual property.

The law governing these types of agreements is state-specific, so it is crucial for employers to have their non-competes drafted by an attorney well-versed in the relevant law of the state where an agreement will need to be enforced. Our multi-state coverage uniquely allows us to work together to customize our clients’ non-compete agreements to satisfy the particular requirements of the states in which our clients do business. Furthermore, these agreements are rarely “one size fits all”, and the depth of knowledge of our non-compete attorneys allows us to work with each client to tailor an agreement that will be enforceable and protect the client’s valuable business interests.

Counseling on Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Issues

In addition to drafting non-compete agreements, the firm’s non-compete & trade secrets attorneys spend a lot of time counseling with clients on other ways to employ best practices in protecting a business valuable customer relationships and business information. Such counseling often involves working with a client to understand the nuances of the business in order to help the client develop policies and procedures for better protecting its trade secrets and other confidential information. Our attorneys also assist clients with general employee on-boarding and exit strategies geared toward avoiding disputes involving non-compete and trade secrets issues, as well as getting involved with specific new or departing employees for the purpose of resolving unfair competition issues before they flare up into litigation.

Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Often, litigation simply cannot be avoided in a non-compete or trade secret dispute. In that event, our litigators are prepared to move fast to ascertain the pertinent facts, secure an injunction to protect the client’s customer relationships and confidential information, and move to a judgment for damages if necessary. Similarly, our attorneys are equally adept at defending against non-compete and trade secrets claims when a client’s needs necessitate such representation.

Burr's Non-Compete & Trade Secret group includes attorneys licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, and multiple other states, along with significant experience in FINRA arbitrations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. We pride ourselves on staffing each dispute in the most cost-effective manner to ensure that the client achieves the best possible outcome for a reasonable fee.


Our Attorneys

Matthew Barnes
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5120
(205) 278-4597
Bret Beldt
Associate ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4339
(404) 214-7946
D. Christopher Carson
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5372
(205) 244-5617
Michael Choy
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5364
(205) 244-5616
John Coleman, III
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5167
(205) 244-5623
William Collins, Jr.
Partner ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4266
(404) 214-7385
Benjamin Coulter
Associate ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5420
(205) 458-5643
Marcel Debruge
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5263
(205) 244-5625
Devin Dolive
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5332
(205) 244-5630
Sean Dudley
Associate ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8221
(251) 344-9696
Gerald Gillespy
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5348
(205) 244-5644
Gregory Harley
Partner ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4243
(404) 817-3214
Victor Hayslip
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5255
(205) 244-5656
Jessica Hew
Counsel ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6646
(321) 249-0527
Jefferson Holt
Associate ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4277
(404) 214-7998
J. Matthew Kroplin
Associate ~ Nashville, Tennessee|
(615) 724-3248
(615) 724-3348
Joseph Letzer
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5212
(205) 244-5671
Robert Lockwood
Partner ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4269
(404) 214-7952
William "J." Long, IV
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5445
(205) 244-5730
Michael Lucas
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5204
(205) 244-5673
Ellen Mathews
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5410
(205) 714-6897
Bryance Metheny
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5178
(205) 244-5680
Dent Morton
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5208
(205) 244-5688
Brian Neal
Partner ~ Nashville, Tennessee|
(615) 724-3246
(615) 724-3346
John Nefflen
Counsel ~ Nashville, Tennessee|
(615) 724-3219
(615) 724-2219
John Schifino
Partner ~ Tampa, Florida|
(813) 367-5739
(813) 357-3524
William Schifino, Jr.
Partner ~ Tampa, Florida|
(813) 221-1764
(813) 221-7335
Matthew Scully
Associate ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5321
(205) 714-6921
Elizabeth Shirley
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5186
(205) 244-5705
Peter Vilmos
Partner ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6622
(407) 650-2955
India Vincent
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5284
(205) 244-5714
Bill Wasden
Partner ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8230
(251) 344-9696

Experience Matters

Brief sentence defining representative matters.

  • Employer Representation

    Represented employer in various matters against defecting employees, including the enforcement of restrictive covenants, protection of trade secrets and proprietary information, and defense of claims for unpaid commissions.
  • Sale of Stock

    Represented the stockholders of VI Prewett & Sons in the sale of its stock to Gildan Activewear, Ltd., a Toronto-based manufacturer of clothing and sportswear with operations in twelve countries. The transaction was preceded by the bundling of sixteen subsidiary corporate entities into a single entity for sale to Gildan. Terms of the deal included post-closing escrows and earnout provisions as well as agreements with various officers and affiliates. The firm is continuing to work with the Shareholder Representatives in completing post-closing matters.
  • Breach of Agreement

    Represented international music production and distribution company in proceedings to enforce non-compete agreement against former company president violated by competitive activities and other breaches of agreement and obtain award of damages. Prevailed in arbitration.
  • Trade Secrets Dispute

    Represented pharmacy in a trade secrets dispute concerning compounding formulas.
  • Non-Compete

    Represented physicians and physician groups in non-compete litigation and negotiations.


April 14, 2015
John Nefflen to Speak at the Belmont University College of Law American Inn of Court Meeting