Re: Consultants:Dim or Delete the Non-Compete?

Subject: Re: Consultants:Dim or Delete the Non-Compete?
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 08:29:46 -0800 (PST)

"Robert B. Kennedy" wrote...
> Hello TW'ers,
> I'm looking at a very good consulting
> opportunity that fits my background
> perfectly -- which also fits very few
> people in my region. (The client has
> been looking for months for someone
> with my specific background.)
> It's short term and lucrative, but I've
> been recruited for the offer by an
> agency. I've been able to negotiate
> down a 1-year non-compete before,
> but I've never been able to eliminate it.
> Question: Have you ever been able to
> leverage your unique skills to either
> diminish or delete the non-compete clause?

<NOTE: I am not a lawyer.>

Non-compete agreements are a way the agency protects themself. It wouldn't
exactly be fair if you walked into a contract job they set up for you and then
a week later convinced the client to transfer you to a direct-contract. The
agency put a lot of hard work into setting up that contract and if you took it
away from them, you would be taking away a lot of revenue.

I tell contractors that a non-comp is a "I won't screw you if you don't screw
me" kind of agreement. If a client offers you a full-time job or direct
contract, you agree to come talk to me about it first. I won't automatically
say no, but I need to know.

So, I wouldn't expect an agency to eliminate the non-compete. But remember they
can only really restrict you from seeking direct opportunities at the place you
are working.

What you might be able to negotiate is the company to buy-out your contract.
But you'll need to discuss this matter with the client. If they are really
pleased with your work and express an interest in working directly with you,
they may be willing to buy you out. But, that is not likely. It is probably
easer from a paperwork and invoicing stand-point to contract you through an
established agency.

Good luck on your new job.

Andrew Plato

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