These summaries were prepared by McGuireWoods LLP lawyer Thomas E. Spahn. They are based on the letter opinions issued by the Virginia State Bar. Any editorial comments reflect Mr. Spahn's current personal views, and not the opinions of the Virginia State Bar, McGuireWoods or its clients. 
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12-Withdrawing Lawyers (Including Non-Compete Issues)

A firm may not require a withdrawing partner to divide fees earned from representing clients the withdrawing partner took when the partner withdrew. A professional corporation may not ethically enforce a provision under which a withdrawing lawyer who competed with the firm (within a fifty mile radius) and took clients originally brought to the firm by retired lawyers must reimburse the firm for payments it made to the retired lawyers. The Bar overrules LEO 985 "to the extent that it approves a provision in an employment agreement permitting a law firm to exact a financial penalty from a lawyer (or lawyers) who withdraw and take clients of the law firm with them."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn