Hughes Hubbard & Reed obtained a temporary injunction on behalf of Ratner Companies, the owner of nearly 1,000 hair salons in the US, including the Hair Cuttery salon chain.
On Dec. 7, 2015, after hearing four days of evidence and legal argument, Circuit Court Judge Daniel E. Ortiz granted an injunction prohibiting Bobby Brown, a former key Hair Cuttery manager and educator, from continuing to work for Regis Corp., Ratner's far-larger rival, and from soliciting Ratner employees until further order following an eight-day jury trial set for May 2016.
Ratner filed a lawsuit on Oct. 5 in the Virginia Circuit Court for Fairfax County, seeking a temporary injunction to enforce Brown's two-year non-compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreement, and to prevent Brown and Regis from using Ratner's confidential information and trade secrets.
Ratner is a family business that has grown from a single hair salon in Springfield, Virginia in 1974 to owning and operating nearly 1,000 salons in 16 states along the East Coast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Regis, a publicly-traded, New York City hedge-fund-controlled corporation, owns the largest chain of hair salons in the world, with nearly 10,000 locations. Its brands include SmartStyle, Supercuts, MasterCuts, Regis Salons, Cost Cutters, Sassoon Salon and Jean Louis David.
In recent months, Regis raided Ratner's personnel by soliciting and hiring seven key Ratner managers, including Brown, in an effort to turn around Regis's financial performance. Brown was Regis's star prize: he occupied a unique role at Ratner as both a district manager and its only educator tasked with training Ratner employees on a company-wide basis.
Judge Ortiz reasoned that, because of Brown's "unique position," Ratner would suffer "irreparable injury" if Brown were allowed to continue his employment with Regis. Finding "that the equities do weigh in favor of Ratner holding Mr. Brown to his bargain," Judge Ortiz granted an injunction on all but the misappropriation of confidential information and trade secret claims against Brown and Regis.
The Hughes Hubbard team representing Ratner includes Dan Weiner, Ned Bassen, Aviva Wernick, Stacey Koch Lieberman, Kelly Foos, Esther Glazer-Esh, Hannah Miller, Debbie Placid, Maureen Howley, Gil Ben-Ezra, Ignatius Grande and paralegals Kirsten Golan and Dan Avery.