Ethics - moving firm and taking employees / clients

Hi all

Hope your preparation is going well!

I haven’t seen many questions around what the general rules are if an employee leaves a firm. I understand general restraints would apply per contract, but what would general rules be if:

a) Employee leaves a firm, an old client approaches them within the next few days and asks them to look after their portfolio at their new firm? Would the employee have to refuse (noting they have not solicited the client)

b) Employee leaves a firm, another employee from the old firm approaches the employee that left and wishes to leave their existing firm and go to the new firm. Would the employee have to refuse the employee from the old firm (noting they have not solicited them)

c) Is it ok to remember a list of clients and email addresses in your head and replicate them at the new firm? I.e. not taking a list but recreating the list from memory


I would say a and b are non-violations. Those things are out of your control.

For c, the general rule of thumb is if the information is public, you can use it. So “remembering” could technically lead to some legal hot water… If the information was public on the other hand, say in a phonebook, that’s easy to prove.