Blank Rome’s Anthony Haller Named 2020 Employment Law Trailblazer by The National Law Journal
Blank Rome Partner Anthony B. Haller, who leads the Firm’s Trade Secret Protection, Employee Defection, and Unfair Competition practice, has been recognized as one of The National Law Journal’s 2020 Employment Law Trailblazers. The Trailblazers series is developed by the business arm of The National Law Journal and spotlights attorneys from each practice area that are “agents of change.” Last month, Anthony received Lexology’s Client Choice Award and he was also recently named the winner of Finance Monthly’s Trade Secrets Lawyer of the Year Award for the second year in a row.
Below is Anthony’s 2020 Trailblazers honoree profile, first published in The National Law Journal’s special Employment Law Trailblazers supplement in March.
ANTHONY B. HALLER
Anthony B. Haller's interest in labor and employment law began in the UK in the 1970s—a period of industrial unrest when the conservative government tried to take on the trade unions. When that government fell, the first-ever law preventing general dismissal of employees was written by two of his professors at Cambridge. “That, along with my fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania to study labor and employment law, was what started my interest in the subject.”
In a series of precedent-setting cases, Haller has developed successful strategies for corporations to enforce noncompetition agreements with California-based employees by use of forum selection and choice of law provisions, leading to a string of successful enforcement cases. These cases led the California Legislature to pass a bill requiring legal representation prior to enforcement of these type of provisions. “And now, we are the leading firm in dealing with that law. In an Eastern District of Pennsylvania case, Haller successfully obtained a major victory in a case involving misappropriation of trade secrets involving a senior employee who secretly formed a competitive company while still working for the client. “ From some initial indications that something strange was happening, we uncovered a clandestinely orchestrated scheme to use the company's information and customer relationships to compete unfairly in the marketplace.” “It was a bellwether case and an example of how high the stakes can be.”
Haller sees state legislatures increasingly questioning whether noncompete agreements are anticompetitive, and he is starting to see severer restrictions in the nature and scope of these agreements. “In this particular niche area, a big challenge will be how to deal with these state laws. The #MeToo movement has created an increased demand new ways to confront sexual harassment in the workplace.”
Profile has been modified from original publication in March 2020.