The Law Office of Kurt H King

February 1, 2013

Protection of Customer Contact Information Requires a Non-Compete Agreement

A recent case affirms Missouri employment law in holding:

1)  An ex-employee has the right to compete with the ex-employer if there is not a valid covenant-not-to-compete (CNC) agreement;

2)  Customer contacts and customer lists are not protected as a trade secret or confidential relationship–a valid CNC is required.

The Southern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals so held in Central Trust & Investment v. Kennedy, (opinion filed 01.24.2013), following the Missouri Supreme Court’s lead in Western Blueprint v. Roberts, 367 S.W.3d 7, 18 (Mo. banc 2012).

The CNC in this case having been vitiated by sale of the company to Central Trust & Investments, there was no valid CNC in effect.  Therefore the employee was free to use such customer information and lists from his work at the company before its sale.


Kurt H. King

Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068


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