Negotiating job offers protects the free use of an executive’s knowledge

Negotiating job offers protects the free use of an executive’s knowledge. Robert Adelson negotiated a non-disclosure agreement and non-compete agreement for Laura Foster, a CMO of an Illinois-based national retailer. Attorney Adelson arranged for added exceptions to Laura Foster’s executive employment contract, enabling Ms. Foster to use her personal knowledge to further herself and her career, without going against her confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. Attorney Adelson also arranged for exceptions to her non-compete agreement to prevent Laura Foster from being permanently removed from her field in the future.

Companies must protect their existing and future trade secrets through non-disclosure agreements but these agreements should not reach into prior knowledge and publications and information generally known in the field. This is where Robert Adelson negotiated Laura Foster’s executive employment contract, to allow her to continue to use her prior knowledge. When entering an employment relationship, it is important to establish clear boundaries that will enable an executive to continue working in his or her field if and when that relationship ends. Attorney Adelson has found that resolving trade secret and disclosure issues, through negotiating non-disclosure agreements decisively and proactively on the front-end prevents serious problems on an exit from the company.

Non-compete agreements serve businesses by limiting employee attrition to their competitors and protecting their valuable client relationships. Attorney Adelson and Laura Foster were worried that the structure of her non-compete restricted the future ability for her to earn a living without providing adequate compensation. Non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements are too often accepted by executives without sufficient question or scrutiny, despite the pitfalls that they may contain, therefore Attorney Adelson advises his clients to take a second look at their employment contracts.

When negotiating job offers, non-disclosure agreements and non-competes, Robert Adelson is very resourceful in obtaining important information and leveraging that information thoroughly throughout the negotiation process. Robert Adelson walks his clients, step-by-step through the process of working with an executive’s employer to successfully and efficiently negotiate job offers and executive employment contracts. Attorney Adelson also makes sure to do so in a timely manner, and a non-confrontational manner – to ensure a successful negotiation. With many years of experience in dealing with non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, Attorney Adelson was able to help Laura Foster gain protection from effectively being removed from her field in the future. Furthermore, with extensive experience in the negotiation and crafting of these documents, he helped delineate exceptions to confidential knowledge that Laura Foster acquired in her position — and prevented unpleasant surprises down the road.

*All dates, client’s names and companies have been altered to keep confidentiality.


Author: radelson

Robert Adelson has been a corporate and tax attorney since 1977. He began as an associate at nationally prominent New York City “mega” law firms, first at the Wall Street firm Dewey Ballantine Bushby Palmer & Wood and later at the Park Avenue firm Weil Gotshal & Manges. In 1985, Adelson returned home, where he has since established himself as a respected Boston business attorney. He has attained partner at several small and midsize Boston law firms, most recently at Lawson & Weitzen LLP and then Zimble Brettler LLP, where he was a partner from 1994 to 2004 before becoming a partner at Engel & Schultz LLP.