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INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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I have recently left my position with a design firm. I have

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I have recently left my position with a design firm. I have worked with several clients over the past five years for the firm and spearheaded most of the project work in the office. I now have past clients contacting me to do work for them, as I am now the president of my own firm.
In regards XXXXX XXXXX and common law duties, can I work with these clients now, and in the future, if the relationship was developed while working for my ex-employer?
While working for my previous employer I at no time signed a non-compete agreement or work contract specifically, although I was a limited owner in the company with limited shares from a buy-sell agreement as per the retiring president of that company. I am no longer a holder of stock.
Can I legally seek future work from these established relationships—which I worked very hard to develop? Is there a specific legal demarcation of what can and cannot be done?..For instance, if the client contacts me as opposed to my seeking work from them, etc.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the question. if you have not signed a non compete or a non solicitation agreement you are free to do do so.   Should the company choose to pursue you any way, it would be a weak case but ever more weak if the contact is initiated by the customer seeking your service since the customer always has that choice.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. I would like to ask for a little more clarification.
What if a client actually chooses to terminate an existing contract with my ex employer and hire my firm because they feel that I was serving them better than the firm (my ex-employer) is currently? This would not be initiated by me, but rather the client.
Also, if the client has paid my ex-employer for design documents that I porduced while with that firm, are those documents now owned by the client? And therefore, can those documents be given to my firm for continuing work on either the existing, or future contracts? I have seen this done in the past, but need to know the legal ramifications.
One more...It sounds as though I am free to pursue future contracts with any relationships I have formed over my 15 years in the business if I have never signed a work contract or non-compete with any firm to this point. Correct? Because I entered the profession with existing knowlege and expertise (per my education), I have not relied heavily on support from others in the firm. For instance, I was essentially working alone in my recent position as I was in an office 1300 miles away from our corporate office.
Thank You.
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 4 years ago.
SEE MY RESPONSE IN CAPS

What if a client actually chooses to terminate an existing contract with my ex employer and hire my firm because they feel that I was serving them better than the firm (my ex-employer) is currently? This would not be initiated by me, but rather the client.
THAT IS THE BEST OPTION. YOU HAVE SIGNED NO NON COMPETE, DID NOT SOLICIT ANYWAY, AND THE CLIENT EXERCISES HIS CHOICE TO WORK WITH YOU.

Also, if the client has paid my ex-employer for design documents that I porduced while with that firm, are those documents now owned by the client? And therefore, can those documents be given to my firm for continuing work on either the existing, or future contracts?
YES, THEY BELONG TO THE CLIENT BUT THE CLIENT HAS TO GIVE THEM TO YOU AND SHOULD HAVE A LETTER TO THAT EFFECT

I have seen this done in the past, but need to know the legal ramifications.
One more...It sounds as though I am free to pursue future contracts with any relationships I have formed over my 15 years in the business if I have never signed a work contract or non-compete with any firm to this point. Correct?
YES


INFOLAWYER, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 50050
Experience: LICENSED BUSINESS LAWYER
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