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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11554
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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What can I do to walk around confidentiality agreement? Do

Customer Question

What can I do to walk around confidentiality agreement? Do I simply setup my own business? I worked in a graphic design company but certain customers (I met via the company) want to work directly with me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
What precisely do the relevant clauses say?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I actually do not possess the copy of the document I signed (I know!). But I remember it stating that "I won't make contact with clients within 1 year from termination of employment'. I assume this document is probably done based on some default type document? Can you guess? Apologies, I cannot be more specific.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Yes, the type of clause you are referring to is not a confidentiality agreement, it is a restraint of trade clause. The wording is important.
If it's properly drafted it will stop you from taking on any work for clients of your employer.
However, not all of them are drafted properly. If it says that you won't approach clients then there is no way round that but if clients approach you of their own accord because they know your own business is running then your employer would not be able to do much about that.
If the clause says that you can't take on any work for clients of your employer and doesn't talk about "approaching" then that would be a blanket ban.
I hope that helps. Happy to discuss further.
JGM and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for clarifying this for me.

I only terminated my employment week ago but I already had queries from former clients of possibility to work directly with me. I also remmeber when signing the restraint of trade clause my employer mentioned that I can 'take' certain clients. Now, this is only spoken not written. It happened in office enviroment with our intern present in the room. Could this be of any help for me if any legal action occurs?

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
That could be used although it would have been better to have that reflected in a letter of some kind of writing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is the exact text in the clause: Non-solicitation: If you leave your employment with the Company, You agree taht, for one year after termination, You will not, without prior written consent of the Company, either directly or indirectly, on your own behalf or on behalf of others, solicit or attampt to solicit, divert or hire away any person epmployed by the Company or any customer/client of the Company. Can you tell me if clients approach me, my ex Company can do nothing about it?
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
As long as you don't actively try to solicit customers you should be OK.