Russell Beck was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about state and federal efforts to ban noncompete agreements.

The story is titled “States Add to ‘Fire Hose’ of Noncompete Issues Vexing Employers.” The June 13, 2023, article was written by Chris Marr, who writes about labor & employment news for Bloomberg Law.

The article discusses growing support in state legislatures and in the federal government to restrict or ban the use of noncompete agreements. The article discusses Minnesota’s recent noncompete ban and the proposed rule issued by the Federal Trade Commission that would essentially forbid noncompete agreements.

The article quotes Russell as follows:

Employers nationwide, but especially in states enacting strong restrictions, need to think carefully about when and why they’ve used noncompetes historically and consider alternative strategies going forward, said Russell Beck, an attorney at Beck Reed Riden LLP in Boston.

“Typically what they’re trying to protect is their information including trade secrets and confidential information, as well as their relationships with the customers,” he said.

Other ways to protect those assets include strengthening physical and electronic security for confidential data, training employees on their obligations, and improving processes for reinforcing customer relationships immediately after a key employee leaves, according to Beck.

Some companies also have begun to use notice requirements in place of noncompetes, he said. For example, a company might require an employee to give a 30- or 60-day notice before leaving, and the business could opt to keep them on the job or else pay them to stay home for that time period while the company takes steps to secure customer relationships that might be affected—a version of the garden leave concept that’s common in UK employment contracts.

Since the article was published, the state of New York has inched closer to a complete noncompete ban.

Russell frequently writes about current efforts to regulate noncompete agreements. He was featured on NPR and quoted in the New York Times discussing federal regulatory efforts targeting noncompete agreements. In January 2023, Russell wrote an article for Law360 called “Companies Must Brace For FTC’s Overbroad Noncompete Rule.” In April 2020, Russell Beck and Erika Hahn’s article about the FTC’s investigation about whether it should regulate noncompetes was published by Law360. In July 2019, Law360 published Russell Beck’s analysis of misconceptions in the noncompete debate.

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning trade secrets and 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 thirty years of experience 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 (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), 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 administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 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.