Russell Beck is the subject of a lengthy profile featured on the cover of this year’s New England Super Lawyers.
The cover story, titled “Steady Under Pressure,” describes highlights from Russell Beck’s career in business litigation, starting with his early fascination with the judicial system and the development of his expertise in noncompete and trade secret law.
The profile introduces Russell, who is the co-founder of Beck Reed Riden LLP, by explaining that he is “a litigator with nearly 30 years of experience representing corporate and individual clients in complex business matters,” and that he “is often tasked with putting a case together with blistering speed.”
The article describes one of Russell’s cases where his computer science degree played a critical role in resolving his client’s dispute:
It was the early days of the commercialized internet, and Beck’s background in computer science was coming into play.
At one point, a tech company that had developed a software product and website allowing users to access stock information in something close to real time. “There was absolutely nothing else like it at the time,” says Beck.
Two of the company’s employees had left suddenly and simultaneously. One was the head software coder, the other the head of sales. They started their own business, and, within a short period of time, had a competitive website up and running.
Even though these former employees hadn’t been bound by noncompete restrictions, Beck’s firm sued for illegally using trade secrets and stolen information to start their own competing enterprise. Beck took the deposition of the software engineer and embarked on a deep dive into his code.
“I went through a number of subroutines in the code he’d written and read one of them out loud into the record. And the name of the code was ‘Stolen Code,’” Beck recalls with a laugh. “I was surprised to find that, but I’m sure he was even more surprised to find a lawyer diving into the specifics of his coding.” The case was settled favorably for Beck’s client.
Beck’s technological aptitude remains a critical component in successfully representing many of his clients, especially as it’s become easier for employees to abscond with privileged information in innovative ways.
The article also describes Russell’s role in the policy and politics of trade secret law and noncompete reform, noting that his “expertise on trade-secret and noncompete matters has ascended to the national stage”:
In 2016, the Obama administration and Treasury Department each released reports that found widespread abuse of noncompete agreements across a wide array of business sectors. As a follow up, the White House formed a working group of more than 30 noncompete experts. Beck was the only private attorney to participate.
Prior to that, Beck helped draft a bill for the Massachusetts legislature concerning the use of noncompetes in his home state. He’d also compiled a first-of-its-kind survey in 2010 detailing the nuances of noncompete laws in all 50 states, which became foundational to both the White House and Treasury Department noncompete reports.
eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.
The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.
Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:
- Over twenty two years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
- Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
- Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
- Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
- Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
- Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
- Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
- Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,600 members around the world
- Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm
In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2019 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is a “terrific” attorney, who “is an excellent choice of counsel regarding noncompete agreements and the resolution of restrictive covenant disputes.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”
Russell was recently named as one of the Lawyers of the Year for 2018 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.