A recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features discussion with Russell Beck in an article titled “Judge nixes extension of ‘anti-raiding’ provision.”

The article covers a Massachusetts Superior Court decision concerning a company’s effort to enforce language in a former executive’s employment agreement that would extend the duration of an anti-raiding provision based on the executive’s alleged violation of a non-disparagement clause. The article was written by Lawyers Weekly reporter Eric T. Berkman.

The court order notes that the plaintiff “failed to put forward allegations plausibly suggesting that its enforcement of the anti-raiding provision in connection with [the departures of two employees] serves a legitimate business purpose. Relying on three unpublished federal district court cases, [plaintiff] argues that … the loss of the talent and goodwill of employees is a legitimate business interest…. But, with respect to the federal bench, these cases misapprehend Massachusetts law. ‘A non-competition agreement is enforceable only ‘to protect the employer’s good will, not to appropriate the good will of the employee.’”

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

The article quotes Russell Beck as follows:

Russell Beck of Boston said the ruling is significant in that it rejects federal court decisions that allow the employer to appropriate the goodwill of the employee.

Still, he said, determining whether goodwill belongs to an employer or employee can be a complex analysis that appears not to have been warranted by the facts of this case.

“Accordingly, I would caution against reading the court’s narrow, fact-depending holding too broadly,” he said.


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.