Hedge Fund Manager Cannot Prove Breach of Contract by Ex-employee Without Proof of Written Contract

  • Original, expired written employment agreement included disclosure restrictions.
  • Subsequent unsigned drafts included non-compete and confidentiality clauses, but employer failed to produce a signed copy.
  • Employer alleged employee orally and repeatedly renewed contract.
  • After receiving $450,000 alleged “advance,” employee resigned and began working for competing fund management firm, but employee asserted payment was for work already performed.
  • Employer sued for fraud, breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of confidentiality.
  • Affidavit of existence of lost executed contract failed to satisfy statute of frauds.
  • Employee asserted his employment was “at-will” and thus he was not bound by non-compete clause.
  • Employer failed to prove enforceable written employment contract and so failed to raise any genuine issue of material fact.

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