ZhongYin Lecture: Detailed Analysis of Enterprise Non-Competition Disputes and Related Guidelines on Offensive and Defensive Strategies
Author： Zhong Yin Law Firm
On July 18, 2019, the sixth “ZhongYin Lecture” was held in the second meeting room of ZhongYin head office. ZhongYin attorneys shared practice experience on the theme of “Detailed Analysis of Enterprise Non-Competition Disputes and Related Guidelines on Offensive and Defensive Strategies”. More than 140 colleagues from the head and branch offices of ZhongYin participated in the Lecture onsite or online.
Attorney Kou Yingjie focuses on the practices and researches in the field of labor law, has accumulated rich practical experience in labor disputes and corporate legal counsel management, has handled nearly 100 difficult cases about labor and personnel disputes and has effectively safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of employees and employers.
Attorney Kou Yingjie
In recent years, the number of cases of non-competition disputes has been increasing year by year, which are mainly brought by employees and concentrated in high-tech industries and service industries and in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Zhejiang. From the perspective of the prosecutor (original employer), we can see three new trends: more and more employees sign non-competition agreements, the amount of subject matter of litigation is increasing, and associated cases are becoming common.
By combining years of practical experience and cases of social concern, Attorney Kou Yingjie summed up the eight major types of issues in a dispute over non-competition and explained in detail their respective causes. The eight major types of issues include: whether a non-competition agreement is valid; whether an agreement on non-competition obligations during employment is valid; the initiation of non-competition obligations; the judicial standards for identifying competitive industries or positions; the feasibility of including compensation for non-competition in salary; the rules for setting liquidated damages for breach of non-compliance obligations; the standards for determining whether the liquidated damages are extravagant and discretionarily reducing excessive liquidated damages in the judicial practice; whether to support or not the original employer’s claim that a compensation should be paid or the remuneration received by the employee from the new employer should be paid to the original employer.
In this lecture, Attorney Kou Yingjie made suggestions on how to prove and defense as the prosecutor or the defender in litigation and listed 12 specific methods of “proving the employee’s breach of non-competition obligations”. Moreover, Attorney Kou Yingjie noted that, the prosecutor (original employer) should also pay attention to improving non-competition agreement, while the defender (new employer) could avoid joint and several liability by verifying the employee's job responsibilities in the original employer and written undertakings.
Finally, the attorneys at the meeting asked questions about considerations in signing a non-competition agreement and methods to effectively prove in litigation, and Attorney Kou Yingjie answered them in detail one by one. In this Lecture, the valuable knowledge and lively cases won the praise of all participants.