Hi Everyone,This is my first post and I am not sure where to turn for advice. I was a ML FA that started 8 years ago. I started working with a large team just out of school. After a year with the team and an excellent performance record, I was offered a partnership (5% of the entire book). I was told at the time that my share of the team assets would vest 1%/yr and the team could dissolve at any time. So, if after one year I decided that I didn't want to work with them any longer, I could walk away with 1%. I thought this was a fair arrangement and I accepted the partnership agreement (nothing in writing just a handshake).We decided to leave ML 3 years ago and join another major wirehouse. When we came over, we all received upfront money and the same split % that we had at ML. I now have a child and live in NYC, which is 2hrs away from my office. I would like to separate from the team and start my own operation under the same BD at a location closer to my home. My team members are now saying that they never agreed to "give" me 5% of the business and that if I left, I will walk away with nothing. This seems absolutely ridiculous to me because I have been a 5% partner for over 7 years (more than vested according to our initial agreement). Not only is all of my compensation tied to this 5% but I have also shared in 5% of all business expenses including the SA's bonus and comp. Here are my questions: 1) What rights to the 5% do I have if our agreement was never put in writing?2) Can the BD simply take that 5% from me and distribute it to my partners if they choose to? Obviously with my partners controlling the other 95% of the revenue, they carry more weight with management. Lawyers have been very unhelpful thus far because nothing has happened (My share has not been taken away and I am still in the office). Ideally, nothing with the clients would change... I would retain my 5% of the pool number and we would put any new clients into our own FA numbers going forward. I find it hard to believe that a split can be taken away from you at the request of your team members. For example... if there is any team of 3 FA's and 2 of the FA's want the 3rd's share, how is legal to just take it from him or her? There has to be some protection in place for advisors, even if it is not in writing. Majority can't just rule in that situation or senior advisors would simply take the books of junior advisors. I really don't want to move to another broker dealer becuase I just made the move here 3 years ago and that is not fair for the clients. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I know it serves me right for not getting anything in writing but please be gentle... I was 23 at the time.