Michael P. Avila
Michael Avila is an international employment and trade secrets attorney. Working with employers around the globe, Mike routinely advises on trade secrets protection strategies and restrictive covenant agreements. His practice also includes domestic and cross-border employment litigation and counseling.
Trade Secrets, Restrictive Covenants, and Unfair Competition
In connection with his trade secrets and restrictive covenants practice, Mike has prosecuted and opposed numerous matters involving emergency applications for injunctive relief, including temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions. He has litigated such matters in dozens of U.S. states, as well as in various jurisdictions across the Americas and the EMEA region. These cases typically concern the misappropriation of trade secrets, covenants not to compete, non-disclosure agreements, and other forms of unfair competition.
Mike also represents a number of financial services clients in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration matters, involving trade secret and restrictive covenant disputes.
Along with his litigation practice, Mike assists clients with drafting restrictive covenants and developing programs to protect their competitive assets against employee defections. He also helps clients develop risk mitigation strategies in connection with the recruitment of key talent from the competition.
International Employment Counseling and Litigation
Mike also litigates employment disputes on a national and international basis, including throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. These matters include claims of breach of contract, discrimination, and wage payment violations.
In connection with his international litigation practice, Mike counsels U.S. employers concerning the legal implications of hiring and managing employees internationally, including in some of the world’s most challenging legal jurisdictions. This includes helping employers navigate workplace realities outside of the U.S. and working with legal and tax counsel around the globe to prepare foreign secondment agreements, employment contracts, and tax and other withholdings compliance plans.
Mike enjoys representing clients of all sizes and structures, including both publicly and privately held businesses, broker-dealers, private equity groups, and non-governmental organizations. His industry experience includes securities, health information technology, retail mortgage lending, document management, non-profit, and higher education.
Restrictive Covenant Litigation and Competitive Hire Counseling
- Successfully represented insurance brokerage client in dueling cross-border trade secrets and breach of contract actions.
- On behalf of global clinical trials client, defeated action for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, in connection with the recruitment of key personnel from a competitor.
- Successfully moved to dismiss all claims against global software client, in recruitment-related matter involving allegations of tortious interference and civil conspiracy.
- In the mergers and acquisition context, advised global private equity firm on assignability and sufficiency of target entities’ existing restrictive covenant and key executive agreements.
- On behalf of global clinical trials organization, developed comprehensive restrictive covenant regime across more than a dozen domestic and foreign jurisdictions.
International Employment Counseling
- Provided legal guidance to non-governmental organization in connection with restructuring efforts across multiple African jurisdictions, including Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.
- Following the acquisition of a competitor, assisted global engineering firm in the integration of payroll and employment law compliance practices across multiple EMEA and APAC jurisdictions.
- On behalf of various U.S.-based employers, prepared intra-company secondment agreements for long-term executive assignments in Japan, France, Mexico, and China.
- Successfully resolved wrongful dismissal and breach of employment agreement claims in numerous foreign jurisdictions, including Brazil, Costa Rica, and South Africa.
Domestic Employment Counseling and Litigation
- Obtained complete defense award from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) arbitration panel, on behalf of a national broker-dealer, in a dispute with its former registered representative.
- On behalf of retail banking client, obtained affirmance by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit of a prior successful motion to enforce the terms of an employment discrimination settlement agreement.
- Representing a global asset management and infrastructure services firm, secured summary dismissal of multiple employment discrimination actions.
- On appellate review, successfully defended multiple summary judgment orders before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.
Honors & Leadership
Honors & Awards
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Rising Stars, (2015-2020)
- Listed as a 2018 Lawyer on the Fast Track by the Legal Intelligencer
- Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Philadelphia Bar Association
- Member, Delaware County Bar Association
- Member, Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats – International Association of Young Lawyers
- New Partners Include Over 45% Women12.20.19
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Philadelphia Annual One Day Seminar9.29.16
- Atypical Worker Restraints and Beyond: Protecting Confidential Information and other Business Interests in Atypical Worker, Independent Contractor, Shareholder and Franchise Relationships
December 2, 2020
- International Restrictive Covenants Webinar #1: Protecting Confidential Business Information as Your Team Returns to Work - Or Remains at Home
July 15, 2020
- 2018 Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats – Annual Congress Panelist: "Global, Local or GLOCAL: What Shall it Be? Managing Employment in International Companies in a Changing New World Order
- "Emerging Issues in Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets”
Pennsylvania Bar Institute
- 2017 Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats – International Association of Young Lawyers Labour and Immigration Law Annual Conference – "Brexit & Trump: Is Globalisation In Decline?"
- 2017 Global Travel Risk Summit – “Understanding Our Responsibilities To Our Globally Mobile Employees”
- 2016 Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats – International Association of Young Lawyers Half-Year Congress -- Global Employment Litigation Panelist
Inside Track - Question of the Week (subscription required)
- Cross Border Employer Blog7.9.19
- Cross Border Employer Blog2.20.18
- Cross Border Employer Blog1.19.18
- Cross Border Employer Blog11.17.17
- For US Employers Operating in Mexico, Anti-Corruption Compliance Now is a Multi-Jurisdictional ObligationCross Border Employer Blog10.25.17
- Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog5.20.16
- Keystone Employment Law Blog1.13.16
- Keystone Employment Law Blog1.7.16
- Villanova University School of LawJ.D.
- Pennsylvania State UniversityB.S.
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas