White HouseRussell Beck and Erika Hahn‘s article about President-elect Biden’s announcement of a policy to ban most noncompete agreements was recently published by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Their article, titled “Biden’s proposed ban of (most) noncompetes: steps to take (now) to protect trade secrets and goodwill,” provides thorough analysis of Joe Biden’s proposed non-compete ban, discussion of the rationale used to support the President-elect’s position, and practical steps companies should consider to protect their business interests whether or not noncompete covenants are barred.

According to the article, Biden’s proposal to ban noncompetes appears to ignore the policy recommendations of a 2016 Treasury Department report. Russell and Erika explain that the Biden administration’s proposal appears to “ignore the Treasury report’s ultimate conclusions and recommendations — as well as those of the Obama administration’s follow-up report and resulting Call to Action — all of which called for a rational response, as opposed to a throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater response, focused on addressing the abuses, rather than proper use, of noncompetes.”

Russell and Erika further explain,

While a near complete ban may not be imminent, protecting trade secrets, confidential business information, goodwill, and other recognized legitimate business interests does not happen by accident. It takes planning.

And, when one of the key tools is in the crosshairs, companies need to focus more closely on the remaining options, which can work together to form a cohesive back-up plan when noncompetes are not available — or even when they are simply not necessary or enforceable in the particular circumstances. 

The article suggests practical tools that companies can use to protect their interests, including nonsolicitation and nondisclosure agreements.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

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, and includes:

  • Over twenty five years 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 matters
  • 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 and 850 members, respectively, 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 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience 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.