legitimate business interest

In December 2010, in Reliable Fire Equipment Company v. Arredondo, the Illinois Court of Appeals for the Second District directly addressed Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, a troublesome 2009 case from Illinois’ Fourth District that rejected Illinois’ longstanding requirement that an employer must have a legitimate business interest in order to enforce a non-compete agreement. According to the Court in Reliable Fire, restraints on trade have long been disfavored by the Courts and the “legitimate business interest test” remains an important “threshold question” which allows the Court to analyze “whether the employer has an interest other than suppression of ordinary competition.” Thus, depending on the district in which they are located, Illinois employers may be subject to different standards for enforcement of non-compete agreements.
Continue Reading Illinois Appellate Courts Become Even More Divided Over The Appropriate Standard For Evaluating A Non-Compete Agreement

In October 2009, in Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, 333 Ill.Dec. 791, 915 N.E.2d 862 (Ill. App. Ct. 2009), an Illinois appellate court reexamined and rejected over thirty years of well-established precedent regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants. Specifically, it rejected the “legitimate business interest” test long applied as a threshold issue by Illinois courts when deciding the enforceability of a restrictive covenant. Last week, in Steam Sales Corporation v. Brian Summers, the first Illinois Appellate District other than the Fourth District re-visited the issue of whether the “legitimate business interest” still applied.
Continue Reading Another Illinois Appellate Court Shows Greater Receptivity Toward No-Competes In Illinois