You’ve been instrumental in bringing a new client into the firm and you’ve looked after them well. Or, perhaps you weren’t the finder, simply the minder of the relationship and the client thinks of you as their main contact at the firm.

What happens when you leave to join another practice or to start up by yourself?

  • Let’s assume that the firm will want to retain the client.
  • You may want to ‘take your client’ with you.
  • The client may want to go with you or may want to stay with the firm.

Your employment contract or partnership agreement will almost certainly contain a no poaching clause. I’m lucky. Whenever I’ve moved firms it’s always been on good terms and I’ve always abided by the terms of the agreements I’ve signed. The alternative approach is to look for legal loopholes and/or to risk legal proceedings.

New partners with a following are very attractive. I was going to qualify that and say a ‘profitable’ following. In practice what tends to matter is the value of the fees that are expected to follow the new recruit. Prospective partners in a firm are more attractive if they have client relationships that would be at risk if the individual was to leave and seek partnership elsewhere.

Whose relationship is it anyway? And does anything other than the client’s choice really matter? That’s a pretty simplistic view as a decent adviser can ensure that the client is more or less reliant upon them as individuals than might otherwise be the case. Is this simply down to morals? Good business sense? A commercial attitude?

Questions to ponder I think.

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