Can a non-compete prohibit providing non-competitive services to a former client

I was formerly part of a Big 4 firm as a Manager in the IT Audit Practice. I left on rough terms 10 months ago. My non-compete states that I cannot perform ANY work for a former client for one (1) year.

A former client has approached me and asked for me to propose on Internal Audit services (My former firm is the auditor and this was my client). My former firm CANNOT perform the work due to a conflict of interest (they cannot audit themselves).

Can I perform these services even though the non-compete states I cannot do anything for 12 months? Seems ridiculous that the former firm could restrict me from performing services that they cannot perform. I have inquired to my attorney (and will be paying him for his opinion), but was curious to have another surface opinion.

Thanks for any help or insight you choose to provide.

1 answer  |  asked Jul 21, 2010 06:14 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

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Answers (1)

Bruce Elfvin
The logic of your position is clear and should prevail, however, in an exercise of caution it would seem to be easy to merely write to the former employer and note that you are being asked to do something that they could not do and you do not see it as a problem. Ask them to contact you promptly, if they believe there is an issue.

This will get the question to a head quickly or get you the right to go after this work.

posted by Bruce Elfvin  |  Jul 21, 2010 07:20 AM [EST]  [ Best Answer - selected by asker ]

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