Individuals subject to non-compete agreements must be aware that they could be responsible for paying a business’s attorney’s fees even if that non-compete agreement does not have a prevailing party attorney’s fee provision. Section 542.335(1)(k), Fla. Stat., specifically states that a court may award attorney’s fees to a prevailing party seeking to enforce a restrictive covenant. That same statutory section allows a court to award attorney’s fees against a business if an opposing party proves the restrictive covenant to be unenforceable. Either way, the decision to enforce a non-compete clause or to challenge the enforceability of a non-compete clause must consider the risk of paying the opposing party’s attorney’s fees in the event the other side prevails. In other words, just because a non-compete agreement is silent on attorney’s fees does not mean a court will not award them.
This article does not constitute legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship, and is not for re-publication without express permission of the author.