Non-competition clause

clause competition contract legal offer
New answer on Apr 05, 2020
9 Answers
1.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 20, 2020

Hi everyone!

I accepted an offer from a top-tier strategy firm to join in the position of Consultant. To my surprise, the contract includes a non-competition clause stating that, for a period of 8 months after the end of my contract, I am not allowed to work for a company engaged in similar activities.

Is this kind of legal clause standard with strategy firms? Is it specific to North America?

Thanks a lot for your responses and stay safe!

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Daniel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

Hi! I personally didn't have such a clause in my contract (McKinsey Germany), but as far as I know for other regions of the world it's a pretty standard practice, so doesn't surprise me at all.

Best,
Daniel

Was this answer helpful?
Emily
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 05, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Agree with others that this could be very geo specific. In Southeast Asia I am pretty sure there is no such clauses for roles below Partner (for Partner yes there is non-compete for a period of time). I didn't have such clauses in either my BCG or Bain offers.

Best,

Emily

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Mar 22, 2020

Hi A,

I did not have that close when I worked at Roland Berger in Eastern and Western Europe (Kyiv and Munich), but this indeed became a part of my contract when I moved to the Middle East (Dubai). having received multiple offers in Dubai i also faced non-competitive clause in some of them (Strategy & and Kearney) but not all (no such clause at MBB or Oliver Wymann).

Therefore, it really depends on the company and geography.

And 8 months are not 2 years - so in the worst case you can do a sabbatical or MBA between jobs ;)

Hope it helps - keep safe and stay healthy!

Best,

André

Was this answer helpful?
2
Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

I confirm that is standard only for some geographies, I didn't have one in Italy.

Best,
Luca

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

congratulations on your offer! It is pretty standard to have non-compete clauses in some geographies – I had one myself in my contract. However, normally the clause implies you cannot work for clients or direct competitors of the client for a certain period of time, not for a MBB competitor.

In any case, I would not worry much as:

  • I never heard of an MBB company suing a former employee for violating a non-compete clause. Employees leaving MBB are possible future clients – the company usually wants to leave in good terms. The only situation where a non-compete clause may have some real weight is if you leave as a partner (bringing away clients)
  • You may want to double-check the US regulation, but at least in some countries in Europe the clause cannot be applied if they don’t provide some sort of compensation
  • Contracts are standard – you may double-check with some alumni, but I guess this is what everyone in your geography has

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 23, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I confirm it's not a standard but it depends on the geography.

Best,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful?
Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Non-competition clause are definitley not standard in MBB contracts I saw from different geographies.

If you already started working there I would anyway wait until this issue becomes relevant; otherwise (and especially if you have alternatives) I would double-check with a lawyer if your non-competition clause would be even enforcable by law or not.

It's good to know your legal position - independent from the fact that I never heard of any case that a former consulting company was sueing a former employee... don't think that would add positively to any firm's reputation!

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I didn´t have one myself, I suppose this is a geography-base thing.

In any case, I have never heard of this being an issue when joining MBB for collagues who came from other consulting firms.

The only situation where you can indeed have conflict is when you have client specific know-how or sensible infromation. In these cases, you will be "banned" to work on this same industry for a while.

This happens also internally in MBBs: if you have done extensive work, for instance, for Telefónica, you won´t be working with Orange any time soon.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Ankit
Expert
replied on Mar 21, 2020
Consultant at A.T. Kearney | Part of campus recruitment & coaching core team| Coached 75+ candidates converting McK, BCG, ATK

Hi,

It doesn't seem to be a standard clause here in India. Folks keep switching between the firms as well. And as someone pointed out, the Consultants are potential future Clients, hence the risk of any legal lawsuit should be minimal.

However, please check with other folks from the US, especially those who have made a switch.

Was this answer helpful?
Daniel gave the best answer

Daniel

Content Creator
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews
228
Meetings
1,112
Q&A Upvotes
39
Awards
121 Reviews