Someone googled that this week and ended up on my blog.


So dear Googler, here are the legal ways in Virginia to get around your non-compete:

1. Don’t sign one.

Most likely that has already happened so I am wasting my time with number 1.

2. Get a Release.

That is where you ask your employer for a new contract that says you are released from your old one. Sometimes, this works. Sometimes, it does not work. Often times you need a little cash to grease the wheels but a few dollars up front to avoid litigation, nasty gram letters and attorneys fees for months is a pretty good investment in my humble opinion.

3. Don’t breach it and you don’t need to get around it.

I know. I know. You have been working in the industry for 27 years and not breaching it is not a valid option. You have a right to work after all – right? (No, not really – read my blog on Right to Work)

4. Go to Court and ask the Judge to tell you it is not binding.

Sounds simple. It isn’t. You file a Declaratory Judgment Action your employer or ex-employer will come at you like a spider monkey with expensive lawyers in a counter lawsuit. This is rarely simple and rarely the best way to clarify the issues.

5. Go the distance in court – let them sue you!

I am not a gambler. Litigation is a gamble. You could win. You could lose. You could be enjoined from working (prevented) and you will certainly have to pay attorneys fees.

So Google, you asked, and I answered. These are the best legal ways around your non-compete and none of them are especially fun.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at