On the 4th December 2019, the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued guidance on the ethical responsibilities of lawyers who are changing firm.

Formal Opinion 489 recognises a lawyer’s right to move firms, noting that the ethics rules do not allow non-competition clauses in partnership, member, shareholder or employment agreements. The guidance suggests that for the benefit of clients, staffing and the continuation of counsel, advance notice periods should be given, allowing for an orderly transition and for clients to make clear and informed choices.

Read the full guidance on the ABA site (PDF).

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