Russell’s selection among the Lawyers of the Year recognizes his groundbreaking work in the area of noncompete litigation and legislative reform.
In the article about Russell Beck, Lawyers Weekly introduces his work as follows:
Back in 2008, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a forfeiture provision in a law firm’s partnership agreement did not constitute a noncompete clause to which lawyers couldn’t be bound under the state’s ethical rules.
Boston attorney Russell Beck mentioned Pierce, et al. v. Morrison Mahoney LLP to a friend, state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, offering her the benefit of his expertise if she were ever asked about the case or noncompete agreements in general. Little did Beck know that he was opening the door to a decade-long odyssey, one that would culminate in 2018 with the Legislature passing a noncompete reform bill and adopting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act with some modifications.
Beck is the first to acknowledge that the legislation is not perfect. But just the fact that a compromise was reached given the wide spectrum of views on noncompetes is a minor miracle, he says.
The days ahead are expected to bring litigation that will help color in the lines of the new law, along with perhaps some technical fixes on Beacon Hill. However, since Oct. 1, employees have been benefiting from the requirement that they be given notice that they will be asked to sign a noncompete, while low-wage and young workers who never should have been bound by noncompetes no longer need to worry about such restrictions.
Your work on noncompetes led you to the White House in 2016. How did that come about?
This all started with the U.S. Treasury Department looking at the impact of noncompetes on the economy. They had relied on a number of things that I had written, some work that I had done, among many other people.
That then led to the White House doing a subsequent report, going more in depth. They reached out to me in connection with that. When they finished their report, they then wanted to pull together a meeting of experts in the field and interested parties and have a small group meeting at the White House to talk about what the policy ought to be.
It was a long meeting that ultimately resulted in a call to action that the White House issued, which suggested some changes states ought to consider with regard to their noncompete laws. A number of states have followed the White House’s lead.
An awards dinner–titled 2019 Leaders in the Law–recogninzing Russell Beck, among other honorees, will be held on March 6, 2019, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.
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 three 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
- 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
- Founding and chairing the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm (prior to starting Beck Reed Riden)
In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2017 Chambers USA Guide, which stated, “‘Excellent attorney‘ Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is a ‘terrific noncompete specialist,’ according to industry commentators. He is a skilled litigator with experience representing clients ranging from individuals to large corporations at both trial and appellate levels.”
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 labor 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.