Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 60 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
Stock options for executives and other key employees are a significant component of compensation packages. They give the employee an equity stake in the company and provide an incentive for future performance. The options signal the importance of the employee to the company, and the company has an interest in protecting the company’s goodwill, which is enhanced by the employee’s contribution and at risk if the employee leaves the company.
Public company employers in Texas previously may have been reticent about linking non-competition agreements to the award of stock options or, if they included the restrictive covenants, uncertain about their enforceability in Texas. Texas employers have been forced to rely on providing confidential information as part of the employment relationship in order to provide adequate consideration for non-competition covenants. The Texas Supreme Court, in a June 2011 opinion, has now significantly changed this landscape.
As discussed in an Employment Alert from Gardere’s Labor and Employment Team, the court’s 6-3 decision in Marsh USA Inc. and Marsh & McClennan Companies, Inc. v. Rex Cook effectively announced a new standard for enforcing non-competition agreements in Texas by opening the door for other consideration to support enforceable non-competition agreements. Specifically, this case concerned a non-competition agreement as part of an award of stock options to a key executive. The court focused on the employee’s level within the company, the ownership position represented by the stock options, and the company’s interest in protecting the company’s goodwill.
OUR TAKE: Public company employers in Texas should consider non-competition agreements as a component of stock option awards, whether as a restrictive covenant in addition to what may be included in a written employment agreement or as the only restrictive covenant for key employees without employment agreements. Texas employers already imposing non-competition agreements as part of stock option grants now have a greater level of comfort in the enforceability of those covenants. Regardless, non-competition agreements must still be reasonable in terms of duration, geographic scope, and the extent of restricted activity generally.
The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.
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