{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "The long and the short of it. I was laid off a couple of months ago, the clients on the account I ran loved me. Can I hit the client up about freelance? The non-solicitation part in my severance package mentions something about a year (which hasn’t passed yet), but still I’m no lawyer and it’s mostly mumbo jumbo to me.", "post_id": "5f78384db04c5500217a263d", "reply_count": 16, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5c0824f32252ab00122744de", "bowl_name": "Creative Directors" }

The long and the short of it. I was laid off a couple of months ago, the clients on the account I ran loved me. Can I hit the client up about freelance? The non-solicitation part in my severance package mentions something about a year (which hasn’t passed yet), but still I’m no lawyer and it’s mostly mumbo jumbo to me.

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Ok, can I hit them up once a year has passed? And about monetary damages, hiring a freelancer is that really always the same thing as hiring an agency? Me working directly with the client could (potentially) actually bring some more work to the agency.

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From their perspective, the work the client is paying you to do is work they could have paid them to do. I haven’t read your contract, but after a year I’d imagine you’re good!

I wouldn’t. Your agency will find out, and it won’t be hard to prove monetary damages.

It you signed a non-compete or non-solicitation then legally you cannot go near them.

After the year is up, absolutely.

Flirt your ass off and line it up and once the year is up go crazy like a couple who just signed their divorce papers.

All kidding aside, I’ve watched the office of the WPP big agency I used to work for lose about 60% of their clients to former employees. They are letting go of great people with great relationships and creating their own competition. Mostly so they can turn around and hand the work to cheaper junior talent. Client gets pissed and goes looking for said great people as soon as the non compete ends. It’s absolutely insane.

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I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Companies rarely enforce non-competes unless you’re poaching huge numbers of people or at some high executive level. Get the client on a Zoom call to talk about work opportunities, though. I wouldn’t say anything over email. Too easy to forward. Just be vague and say you want to reconnect and feel out the vibe.

Agree.

Non competes are unenforceable in California and some other states. If you’re in Cali, you’re clear.

How many months severance?

In my contract it says you could do that given you get permission from your C Suite.

If you're close with your client and they're cool it should be fine. COVID is not going anywhere and you have to make a living somehow. Just don't go to any meetings with the agency.

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