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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5687
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I would like to start my own consulting business and ethically

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I would like to start my own consulting business and ethically and legally take my clients with me to my new sole proprietor practice, Company B. I do not have a non-compete contract with my current employer, Company A. I have not yet legally incorporated nor formally announced my firm intention to leave to any of my existing clients. Would it be ethical and legal for me to provide each of my clients electronic copies ( CD) of all of the work product that was produced under my tenure at Company A while I am still employed at Company A, in advance of giving my resignation notice? I do not intend on retaining or taking any personal copies of client files or information, since I agree that that information is company A's proprietary information. However, I would like my clients to have the option to retain me after I leave, since I have been the primary point of contact for the work and relationship during my tenure at Company A. If i were to send out my clients' work products while still at Company A, and before submitting my resignation, would I be putting myself at significant risk of legal action? Afterall, dont the clients own the work product? Please help..
Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.

In most professions the client owns the right to their work file in any event, thus it wouldn't be unlawful for you to give copies of the files to them. In other words, if you quit and retained them, the clients could most likely request their entire files regardless of your effort. Thus, I would not be of the opinion that your sending them the files while employed by the employer would somehow be a breach of fiduciary obligation to the employer while you remained employed by them.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, and I wish you all the best with this matter.

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