The Buffalo News reports that the New York Supreme Court voided clauses in a law firm's employment contract forbidding a departing attorney from notifying firm clients of his departure and setting a 43.56% lien on any future work done for former firm clients by the departing attorney. The Court held that the restrictions violated the ethics rules for attorneys. I believe that Tennessee courts would rule the same way. Clients should have the ability to retain counsel of their choosing and should not be prevented from following their attorney when he leaves a firm. Most law firms know this, but they continue to include such restrictions in firm employment agreements to dissuade departing attorneys from taking clients with them. Apparently the risk of having some clauses held to be unenforceble (or even unethical) is outweighed by the risk of losing firm clients. You can read the article here.