Business and Professions Code §16600

California’s prohibition on non-competition agreements is less than absolute.  For example, non-compete agreements may be enforced against partners or sellers of businesses.  Additionally, in SingerLewak LLP v. Andrew Gantman (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 610, a California Appellate Court affirmed an arbitration award that would be considered by most to be a misapplication of California’s non-competition law.

Readers of this blog are familiar with our coverage of the various cases involving high tech firms in Silicon Valley such as Google and Adobe involving alleged “no poaching” agreements that they would not solicit each other’s employees for possible employment.  Both the U.S. Government and plaintiff class action attorneys have alleged that such conduct

California’s prohibition on covenants not to compete is well established.  The statute that reflects this public policy, Business and Professions Code §16600 generally permits such covenants only in narrowly prescribed circumstances.  Those exceptions are all identified by statute at Business and Professions Code §§16601, 16602 and 16602.5.  These exceptions permit covenants not to compete when