Non-Compete Agreement Violation in Houston

Enforcing and Defending Claims in Non-Compete Agreement Disputes

Businesses depend on non-compete agreements to protect their proprietary information and prevent former employees, vendors, or contractors from using that information to compete against them for a reasonable length of time.

Whether you are a business owner watching in alarm as a former employee or supplier sets up competition against you, or a former employee facing allegations of a breached non-compete agreement, the Houston-based, non-compete litigation attorneys at Hendershot Cowart P.C. can help you. We are seasoned litigators skilled at defending and enforcing non-compete agreements.

On This Page

To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (713) 909-7323.

Is a Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable in Texas?

To be enforceable in Texas, a non-compete agreement must be included with another agreement (such as an employment offer), and be in exchange for “consideration” (i.e. something in return, such as specialized training or confidential information).

Additionally, it must stipulate specific limitations and restrictions pertaining to:

  • Scope of activity
  • Duration
  • Geographic area

Courts will only enforce non-compete agreements that are reasonable in terms of geographic limitations, the length of time restrictions will be in place, and the scope of prohibited work and activities. Courts also closely scrutinize non-competes to ensure they are not overly burdensome to an individual and their professional future. They must also be specifically tailored to the specific employee and designed to protect legitimate business interests (i.e. trade secrets, confidential information, and business goodwill).

What Type of Relief or Damages Can I Pursue for Breach of a Non-Compete Agreement?

Employers enforcing a non-compete may seek injunctive relief in the form of prohibiting a former executive or employee from acting in violation of the non-compete agreement letter.

Beyond injunctive relief, you may also pursue various types of compensation to recover damage to your business. These include:

  • Seeking monetary or compensatory damages to regain capital lost from the non-compete violation if the case involves a breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, or another contract breach;
  • Seeking punitive damages if the individual violated the non-compete maliciously;
  • Seeking liquidated damages if the contract owner stipulated a cost to violating the non-compete in the initial contract, and;
  • Seeking compensation for court costs and attorney’s fees, if the court rules in favor of the contract owner.

How Do I Get Out of a Non-Compete Agreement in Texas?

If you are considering other employment or starting your own enterprise, you may want to seek an end to your agreement with your current or former employer.

To get out of a non-compete agreement in Texas, you will need to demonstrate one (or more) of the following:

  • The contract owner failed to provide or uphold consideration, which may impact the legality of the agreement
  • The contract owner engaged in unethical or unlawful conduct, or has a record of failing to consistently enforce the terms of non-compete agreements
  • The actions you have taken since disengaging with the contract owner have not actually violated the terms of the non-compete
  • The non-compete does not protect a legitimate business interest. Companies often require all of their employees to sign a non-compete. However, if you work in a position that doesn’t involve interacting with trade secrets or other propriety interests (working as a receptionist, for example), you can argue that your non-compete didn’t protect any legitimate interests, and is invalid.
  • The terms of the non-compete (concerning geography, duration, and scope of activity) are unreasonable
  • You never signed a non-compete agreement in the first place

Proving one or more of the above points may help release you from the restrictions of a non-compete agreement. An attorney who specializes in business contracts, like the attorneys at Hendershot Cowart P.C., can review any written agreements you signed and advise you of your options.

Additional Non-Compete Considerations for Physicians:

Because physician non-compete agreements can impact doctor-patient relationships, Texas law has special requirements above and beyond the elements of an executive non-compete agreement.

Specifically, physician non-competes must allow doctors:

  • Access to a list of patients treated within the year preceding the separation from the practice
  • Reasonable access, upon patient consent, to relevant medical records
  • To provide for patients who need acute care even after the contract or employment has been terminated
  • To buy out of their agreement, if they choose, at a reasonable price, or, upon mutual consent, for a price set by a neutral third party

How Can the Team at Hendershot Cowart Help?

At Hendershot Cowart, we represent both employers and employees in non-compete agreement disputes. When you bring us on-board for your case, we will examine the terms and conditions of the agreement. Then, we will work with you to identify the best path forward whether you are pursuing or defending a non-compete violation claim.

We also work with business owners and executives to draft legally sound and enforceable employment contracts and non-compete agreements. With any non-compete matter, our goal is to empower you with information and the benefit of our years of experience, so you can make the best decision for your business or health care practice.

Request a Consultation to Learn More

At Hendershot Cowart P.C., business law and contractual matters are a cornerstone of our practice. This expertise translates to an efficient and comprehensive resolution to your non-compete agreement dispute. Our award-winning business lawyers are ready to work with you.

To speak with a member of our team about your needs, call us for an initial consultation.

Our Clients Share Their Experiences

Your Stories Drive Us to Continuously Improve
  • “They've always come through for me.”

    - Joseph D.
  • “Your law firm has impressed me to no end, and should anyone I know ever need legal representation, I will be sure to refer them to ...”

    - Dr. R
  • “We sincerely appreciate your dedication and drive in straightening out the most difficult situation in our life.”

    - Raga and DC Gunnia

Why Choose Our Team?

Committed to Integrity and Honest Service to Each Client
  • We Believe in Loyalty to Our Clients

    We have over 100 collective years of quality legal representation.

  • We Strive to Exceed Your Expectations

    We value going above and beyond for each of our clients.

  • We Have a Strong Record of Results

    Our team will create a strategy designed to protect you.

  • We Believe in Strong Communication

    You’ll know what’s going on from start to finish.

  • We Value Relationships

    We’ll get to know you and what matters most.

We Are on Your Side

Schedule Your Initial Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter a message.