People: Erik W. Weibust, Partner

Photo of Erik W. Weibust, Partner

Erik W. Weibust

Partner

Boston
Direct: (617) 946-4848
Fax: (617) 946-4801
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Mr. Weibust is co-chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s Boston office Litigation Department.  He has a national litigation practice, representing companies of all sizes and in various industries throughout the United States in high-stakes litigation involving theft of trade secrets (including claims under the Defend Trade Secrets Act), breach of restrictive covenant agreements, employee raiding, breach of fiduciary duty and the duty of loyalty, and unfair competition; real estate and franchise/distribution disputes; and general commercial litigation.  Mr. Weibust also advises clients with respect to the protection of trade secrets and proprietary information; the implementation, use, and enforcement of post-employment restrictive covenants and commercial NDAs; and the hiring of executives and key employees from competitors.

Mr. Weibust’s trade secret and restrictive covenant practice includes representing some of the world’s largest insurance, staffing, medical device, pharmaceutical, and technology companies in litigation and counseling nationwide, as well as other companies of all sizes and levels of maturity in various industries across the United States.  He has won substantial victories for his clients in court and at the negotiating table, including obtaining broad-reaching injunctive relief and multi-million dollar payouts, and defeating claims of trade secret misappropriation and breach of restrictive covenant agreements.

Mr. Weibust’s real estate and franchise/distribution litigation practice includes representing the largest convenience store chain in the world in leasing, condemnation, and franchise litigation throughout the United States.  He also represents large commercial landlords and tenants in complex lease and other property disputes, as well as franchisors, manufacturers, and distributors in franchise and distribution litigation.

Legal500 recommended Erik in its 2017 and 2018 editorials naming Seyfarth's Trade Secrets group as one of the top five in the country, and New England Super Lawyers publication and Boston Magazine have recognized Mr. Weibust as a “Rising Star” every year from 2008 through the present.  Erik is a nationally-recognized trade secrets attorney, regularly publishing articles and speaking on related topics. He is also a regular contributor to the firm’s Trade Secrets Blog (www.tradesecretslaw.com). 

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Mr. Weibust served as a law clerk to the Honorable Peter W. Hall of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Mr. Weibust is co-chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s Boston office Litigation Department.  He has a national litigation practice, representing companies of all sizes and in various industries throughout the United States in high-stakes litigation involving theft of trade secrets (including claims under the Defend Trade Secrets Act), breach of restrictive covenant agreements, employee raiding, breach of fiduciary duty and the duty of loyalty, and unfair competition; real estate and franchise/distribution disputes; and general commercial litigation.  Mr. Weibust also advises clients with respect to the protection of trade secrets and proprietary information; the implementation, use, and enforcement of post-employment restrictive covenants and commercial NDAs; and the hiring of executives and key employees from competitors.

Mr. Weibust’s trade secret and restrictive covenant practice includes representing some of the world’s largest insurance, staffing, medical device, pharmaceutical, and technology companies in litigation and counseling nationwide, as well as other companies of all sizes and levels of maturity in various industries across the United States.  He has won substantial victories for his clients in court and at the negotiating table, including obtaining broad-reaching injunctive relief and multi-million dollar payouts, and defeating claims of trade secret misappropriation and breach of restrictive covenant agreements.

Mr. Weibust’s real estate and franchise/distribution litigation practice includes representing the largest convenience store chain in the world in leasing, condemnation, and franchise litigation throughout the United States.  He also represents large commercial landlords and tenants in complex lease and other property disputes, as well as franchisors, manufacturers, and distributors in franchise and distribution litigation.

Legal500 recommended Erik in its 2017 and 2018 editorials naming Seyfarth's Trade Secrets group as one of the top five in the country, and New England Super Lawyers publication and Boston Magazine have recognized Mr. Weibust as a “Rising Star” every year from 2008 through the present.  Erik is a nationally-recognized trade secrets attorney, regularly publishing articles and speaking on related topics. He is also a regular contributor to the firm’s Trade Secrets Blog (www.tradesecretslaw.com). 

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Mr. Weibust served as a law clerk to the Honorable Peter W. Hall of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Education

  • J.D., Northeastern University School of Law
  • B.A., University of Vermont, magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Sixth and Ninth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Affiliations

  • The Sedona Conference Working Group on Trade Secrets (WG12)
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
    • Trade Secrets Committee
    • Annual Trade Secrets Law Summit Planning Committee
  • American Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association

Representative Engagements

Select Trade Secrets/Restrictive Covenant Litigation Experience

Prosecuted multi-jurisdictional action in the federal courts in Georgia and Maryland on behalf of world’s second largest staffing firm against former national director and two executive recruiters, arising out of national director’s recruitment of executive recruiters to join his newly-formed competing firm while still employed by our client.  Obtained broad reaching injunctive relief against all three employees, including one who did not have an agreement, prohibiting them from competing or soliciting staffing firm’s customers in the Baltimore metropolitan area. 

Prosecuted claims in federal court in New Jersey on behalf of largest African American-owned IT staffing solutions firm in the U.S. against former California employee for breach of restrictive covenants agreement.  Obtained favorable result on choice-of-law issue and broad injunctive relief prohibiting employee from working for competitor or soliciting customers for one year from his date of termination in the San Francisco area.

Prosecuted claims in federal court in Kentucky on behalf of the largest publicly-held insurance company in the United States against a former independent sales agent and her new agency for trade secret misappropriation and breach of restrictive covenant agreements.  Obtained injunctive relief prohibiting former agent from doing business with insurance company’s clients for an additional year after restrictions expired. 

Represented biopharmaceutical company in conjunction with the departure of one of its founders and senior executives to join a competitor as its chief scientific officer, and his misappropriation of trade secrets.  Conducted investigation and obtained favorable pre-litigation settlement.

Prosecuted multi-jurisdictional action in the federal courts in Massachusetts and Maryland on behalf of world’s second largest staffing firm against former executive-level employees and a competitor for trade secret misappropriation, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, and unfair competition.  Obtained highly favorable settlement.

Prosecuted claims in federal court in Massachusetts on behalf of world’s second largest staffing firm against multiple former employees and a competitor for trade secret misappropriation, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, and unfair competition.  Obtained highly favorable settlement.

Prosecuted claims in North Carolina on behalf of international application and network performance management company against former senior-level salesman for breach of restrictive covenants arising out of abrupt departure and joining of competitor.  Obtained favorable settlement minutes before preliminary injunction evidentiary hearing. 

Prosecuted claims in Massachusetts on behalf of international application and network performance management company against former senior-level sales engineer for breach of restrictive covenants arising out of abrupt departure and employment with competitor.  Obtained broad preliminary injunctive relief requiring employee to stay out of his former territory and away from certain identified customers, among other things.

Prosecuted claims on behalf of the largest industrial plumbing supplier in North America in multiple jurisdictions against competitor and eight former senior-level employees for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duties and restrictive covenant agreements, unfair competition, and conspiracy, among others, arising out of competitor’s raiding of entire Ohio Valley industrial group and attempted poaching of major customers.  Reached settlement on the eve of trial requiring multi-million dollar payment and extensive restrictions on hiring and solicitation of employees and customers, among other things.

Represented Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer and a top-performing sales representative in an action brought by a competitor for an injunction prohibiting the sales representative from working in a competitive role anywhere in Ohio, southern Michigan, and Northern Kentucky for one year.  Negotiated very favorable settlement on the day of the injunction hearing, following statements by the judge about his likely ruling following the hearing.

Defended Fortune 500 staffing agency and 10 of its employees in an action brought by the employee’s former employer in Massachusetts, alleging breach of non-compete agreements, interference, and unfair competition.  Negotiated favorable settlement following dismissal of plaintiff’s claims in federal court.

Prosecuted claims in federal court in Florida on behalf of international staffing agency against former senior executive for theft of trade secrets, violations of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, and unfair competition.  Obtained broad preliminary injunction barring solicitation of staffing agency’s clients despite absence of non-solicitation agreement.

Secured favorable pre-litigation settlement for leading international security company in dispute with former employee and his new employer involving breach of non-compete agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Successfully defended renewable energy company in investigation by U.S. Department of Justice into alleged theft of trade secrets in violation of federal Economic Espionage Act.  No charges were brought. 

Prosecuted separate actions against two former sales representatives of a national lending company and a competitor for violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, misappropriation of trade secrets, and unfair business practices.  Obtained preliminary injunctions preventing the sales representatives from doing business with client's customers despite lack of non-compete or non-solicitation agreements. 

Defended and defeated motion for preliminary injunction to prohibit clinical toxicology laboratory from hiring a sales representative from competitor.  Case voluntarily dismissed by competitor after denial of competitor’s motion.

Defended and favorably settled claims of breach of non-compete agreement, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, and unfair competition brought by competitor against national financial services firm and two investment advisors concerning decision of investment advisors to leave competitor and join client firm.

Prosecuted and favorably settled claim on behalf of national insurance brokerage firm in suit against former owner and director, and competitor firm, for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of non-compete agreement, interference with contract, and unfair competition.

Prosecuted and favorably settled claim on behalf of national insurance brokerage firm in suit against former broker for breach of non-compete agreement, tortious interference, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Defended and favorably settled claims of breach of contract and conspiracy brought by competitor against biotech company concerning decision of sales representatives to leave competitor and join client company.

Obtained voluntary dismissal of national medical device company from lawsuit brought by a competitor concerning decision of sales representatives to leave competitor and join client company.

Select Real Estate and Franchise/Distribution Litigation Experience

Prosecuting claims in federal court in Massachusetts on behalf of Australian/Asian distributor of U.S. medical device manufacturer for breach of distribution agreement and unfair business practices.

Defending national supermarket chain against claims of unfair business practices, tortious interference, and conspiracy by abutting landowner in Massachusetts arising out of a failed development deal.

Obtained substantial judgment on behalf of leading manufacturer of high-end audio equipment in international arbitration against Chilean distributor for breach of distribution agreement arising out of distributor’s sale of equipment on the gray market in Europe and failure to pay amounts owed under distribution agreement.

Represent largest convenience store chain in the world in real estate litigation nationally, including landlord/tenant disputes and disputes with abutters, contractors, and governmental entities.   

Prosecuted multiple successful actions in various states on behalf of largest convenience store chain in the world against franchisees resulting in injunctive relief requiring immediate eviction of franchisees and surrender of inventory and intellectual property.

Defended large government contractor in dispute with former landlord over unpaid rent and termination fee.  Obtained very favorable settlement, substantially reducing the amount owed. 

Defended owner of premier office building in Boston in dispute with tenant regarding alleged damage to tenant’s property resulting from roof leak.  Obtained very favorable settlement.

Select Unfair Competition, Class Action, and Other Complex Commercial Litigation Experience

Defended leading clinical toxicology laboratory at multiday arbitration hearing against claims by former sales contractor claiming upwards of $65 million in unpaid commissions and interest over nine years.  Successfully disposed of multiple claims (including those providing for multiple damages and attorneys’ fees) and limited damages period to three months.

Defended and obtained complete defense verdict following five-day arbitration on behalf of the founder and former CEO of an early-stage pharmaceutical company, in a suit brought by the company alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. 

Defended and obtained favorable settlement for registered broker dealer and top executives in FINRA arbitration in New York brought by former head trader alleging violations of the anti-retaliation provisions of Dodd-Frank.

Successfully defended registered broker dealer and top executives in SEC investigation of alleged violations of the anti-retaliation provisions of Dodd-Frank.  No charges were recommended.

Represented leading clinical toxicology laboratory in multi-state lawsuit against competitor alleging unfair competition and tortious interference arising out of competitor's illegal kickbacks to customers, support of a frivolous qui tam lawsuit, and commercial disparagement.  Obtained summary judgment on competitor’s unfair competition and interference counterclaims and settled favorably on the eve of trial.

Defended and obtained complete defense verdict following seven-day jury trial in New Jersey on behalf of high-end millwork manufacturer and installer, in a suit brought by former president and shareholder of the company for breach of shareholder and employment agreements.  In addition, prosecuted and recovered substantial damages on counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and failure to repay loans and cash advances.  

 Defended and obtained dismissal of claims for breach of fiduciary duty against national financial services company brought by former brokerage customer. 

Defended and obtained summary judgment on eve of trial on behalf of national telecommunications company in patent infringement case brought by former employee.

Select Labor & Employment Litigation Experience

Represented national telecommunications company during  employee strike.  Obtained injunction from a three-judge panel, following a multi-day evidentiary hearing, barring union from certain strike-related activities, effectively ending the strike.

Defended and obtained complete defense verdict following jury trial on behalf of national financial services firm and its CEO and CFO, in a suit brought by former senior vice president of the firm for tortious interference with his employment relationship.  Represented client on appeal, where verdict was upheld. 

Defended and obtained summary judgment on behalf of national telecommunications company in discrimination and retaliation suit brought by former employee.  Represented client on appeal, where verdict was upheld.  

Obtained dismissal of Wage Act claim against insurance brokerage company and its former CEO brought by former executive of the company. 

Select Anti-SLAPP Experience

Obtained dismissal of multi-count complaint against national insurance company and its outside legal counsel, and award of attorneys' fees, under the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute.

Obtained dismissal of abuse of process claim against client and award of attorneys' fees under the anti-SLAPP statute. 

Defeated anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss restaurant chain's claims for defamation and tortious interference against former employee for statements made by former employee and her attorney to the media in connection with sexual harassment lawsuit against client. 

Defeated anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss restaurant chain's claim for breach of confidentiality provision of earlier settlement agreement against former employees for statements made by former employees in context of subsequent litigation against client by a third party.

Presentations

  • Moderator, “The Ethics of Security,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Trade Secret Law Summit, San Diego, CA (March 2018)
  • "Protecting Confidential Information and Client Relationships in the Financial Services Industry," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (March 27, 2018)
  • Participant (invitation only), Inaugural Sedona Conference on Developing Best Practices for Trade Secret Issues, Scottsdale, AZ (December 2017)
  • “(Almost) Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Warranties,” Confidential Client Legal Department Offsite Retreat, Stowe, VT (November 2017)
  • “Hot Topics in Healthcare and Pharma Law: Trade Secrets and Antitrust,” Seyfarth Shaw CLE (August 2017)
  • “Trade Secret & Non-Compete Legislative Developments,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Trade Secret Law Summit, Atlanta, GA (March 2017)
  • “Enforcing Non-Compete Provisions in Franchise Agreements,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 2015)
  • Moderator, “The Ethics of Data Security and Trade Secret Protection for Lawyers:  How Your Law Firm May Fail to Protect Your Data,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Trade Secret Law Summit, Boston, MA (November 2015)
  • “The Ethics of In-House Lawyer and Outside Lawyer Mobility:  How Lawyers, Law Firms, and Companies Should Manage the Trade Secret Minefield,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Trade Secret Law Summit, Santa Clara, CA (December 2014)
  • “Protecting Trade Secrets in the Age of Social Media.” Boston Bar Association (April 2014)
  • “Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Legislative Update,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (September 2012)
  • "Key Considerations Regarding Trade Secrets and Non-Competes in Business Transactions," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 2011)
  • “An Altered Landscape for Non-Compete Agreements in Massachusetts?” Breakfast Briefing, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Boston, MA (April 2010)

Publications

  • "Trade Secret Licensing," The Licensing Journal, Volume 38, Number 4 (April 2018)
  • “Popular Insulated Cup Manufacturer In Hot Water Over Alleged Trade Secret Misappropriation,” The Licensing Journal (April 2018)
  • “Implementing and Enforcing Covenants Against Competition in The Franchise Context:  Part 2,” Franchising USA Magazine (August 2016)
  • “Implementing and Enforcing Covenants Against Competition in The Franchise Context:  Part 1,” Franchising USA Magazine (June 2016)
  • Contributor, “Restrictive Covenants and Protection of Trade Secrets and Other Intellectual Property in Employment Agreements” chapter of the MCLE book Drafting Employment Documents In Massachusetts  (3d Ed. 2016)
  • “Lawyer Mobility and Trade Secrets Protection:  Restrictive Covenant, Confidentiality, and Non-Disclosure Considerations in the Legal Profession,” American Intellectual Property Law Association Trade Secret Law Summit (December 2014)
  • "Massachusetts Governor Proposes Sweeping Legislation Banning Non-Compete Agreements," Management Alert, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (April 18, 2014)
  • "Tips for Ensuring Your Competitors Do Not Steal the Valuable Fruits of Your Research and Development," SeyPharma Alert, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (March 28, 2014)
  • “Tips for Protecting Trade Secrets in the Social Media Age,” Law360 (January 13, 2014)
  • "New Massachusetts eDiscovery Rules," One Minute Memo, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (December 23, 2013)
  • Contributor, "Employee Mobility, Restrictive Covenants, and Trade Secrets" chapter of the ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation (2013 Ed.)
  • “Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Legislative Update,” Seyfarth Shaw Webinar (June 2013)
  • Contributor, "Employee Mobility, Restrictive Covenants, and Trade Secrets" Chapter of the ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation (2012 Ed.)
  •  “The Dodd-Frank Bounty Provisions And The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:  A New Frontier,” Financier Worldwide (July 2012)
  • "Steps to Take Before the Whistle Blows," The Corporate Board, Vol. XXXII No. 191 (November/December 2011)
  • “Whistleblower 3.0: Nuts and Bolts of Dodd-Frank's Whistleblower Bounty Provisions," Compliance & Ethics Professional, Vol. 8, No. 4  (August 2011)
  • "Understanding Whistleblower Bounty Rules Is Critical," Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (August 1, 2011)
  • FYI: Wave Of Whistleblower Claims On The Way," Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 25, 2011); Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly (April 25, 2011);
  • "Employer Rights and Responsibilities: Monitoring Employee Communication in the Workplace," Insights Magazine (Winter 2011)
  • "Technology and Privacy in the Workplace: Monitoring Employee Communications After the Supreme Court's Quon Decision," Boston Bar Journal, Vo. 54, No. 4 (Fall 2010)
  • "Are There Still Avenues for Recovery in United States Courts for Overseas Hedge Fund Losses After Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd.?" The Hedge Fund Law Report (July 8, 2010)
  • “Is Your Company’s Internship Program At Risk?” New England In-House (May 2010); Maryland Daily Record (June 30, 2010)
  • "Are There Avenues for Recovery in United States Courts for Overseas Hedge Fund Losses?” The Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 2, No. 29 (July 23, 2009)
  • “Anti-SLAPP Statute Shouldn’t Protect Litigation-Related Statements to Media,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (July 20, 2009)
  • “Will Stoneridge Protect ‘Secondary Actors’ in the Current Financial Crisis?” Securities Docket: the Global Securities Litigation and Enforcement Report (Fall 2008)

Community Involvement

  • Victim Rights Law Center, 2018 Shining Star Gala Committee
  • Expect Miracles Foundation -- Financial Services Against Cancer (Outside General Counsel (Pro-Bono), 2011–present)
  • Elbridge Gerry School Building Committee (Marblehead, Massachusetts) (2016–present)
  • Salvation Army Greater Boston Advisory Board (Board Member, 2009–2016)
  • Best Buddies Massachusetts State Advisory Board (Board Member, 2006–2012)