Close Close

Your Missouri Courts Header Image

Clerk Handbooks

Supreme Court Rules

Section/Rule:4- 5. 6
Subject: Rule 4 - Rules Governing the Missouri Bar and the Judiciary - Rules of Professional Conduct Publication / Adopted Date:September 28, 1993
Topic:Law Firms and Associations - Restrictions on Right to PracticeRevised / Effective Date:July 1, 2007


RULE 4-5.6: RESTRICTIONS ON RIGHT TO PRACTICE

A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:

(a) a partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similar type of agreement that restricts the right of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; or

(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.
COMMENT

[1] An agreement restricting the right of lawyers to practice after leaving a firm not only limits their professional autonomy but also limits the freedom of clients to choose a lawyer. Rule 4-5.6(a) prohibits such agreements except for restrictions incident to provisions concerning retirement benefits for service with the firm.

[2] Rule 4-5.6(b) prohibits a lawyer from agreeing not to represent other persons in connection with settling a claim on behalf of a client.

[3] Rule 4-5.6 does not apply to prohibit restrictions that may be included in the terms of the sale of a law practice pursuant to Rule 4-1.17.

(Adopted September 28, 1993, eff. July 1, 1995, Rev. July 1, 2007)