IMPORTANT RULING FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS
A federal court judge in Wisconsin has rejected a request by Smith Barney to order financial advisers who now work for Robert W. Baird & Co.’s Green Bay office to stop soliciting Smith Barney clients. Smith Barney sued Baird last week and asked for a restraining order, claiming the financial advisers who abruptly left the firm’s Green Bay office to work for Baird had breached confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements.
U.S. District Judge William C. Griesbach ruled that Smith Barney’s non-solicitation agreement with the employees was “overly broad” and invalid under Wisconsin law.
Interestingly, Judge Griesbach ruled that if the new Baird employees took any confidential client information, they must return or destroy it…but that didn’t include names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.