How does a non-solicitation clause in an employment contract work?

My husband and I are wedding photographers, and we temporarily partnered with a bigger photography company which failed and we wound up splitting. We had 3 clients contact us stating they wanted to go with us and no longer the bigger company. We did not contact them! They came to us. The contract states a non-solicitation, so are we still legally allowed to take them since they came to us? Should we have them sign something?

Asked on October 16, 2014 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There is no generic answer, since a non-solicitation clause, like any other clause in a contract, is enforced according to its plain terms. Also, the circumstances under whichg the partnership split up--e.g. whether you initiated it, or the larger company did--also will have a bearing on the enforceabilty of hte clause. You are advised to take the contrct to an attorney who can review its specific language and the exact circumstances with you in detail.


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