New York TimesRussell Beck was quoted in a New York Times Opinion article about state and federal initiatives to regulate the use of noncompete agreements.

The Opinion story is titled “Why Are Fast Food Workers Signing Noncompete Agreements?” The September 29, 2021, article was written by Peter Coy, who writes about economics for New York Times Opinion.

The article discusses recent legislative efforts to ban the use of non-competition agreements altogether. Both sides of the issue are presented, with one commenter stating that a ban is appropriate because “[e]mployers are adequately protected from rogue former employees by other provisions, such as trade secrets law.”

On the other side of the question about whether noncompetes should be banned, the article quotes Russell as follows:

Russell Beck, a lawyer in Boston, says trade secrets law isn’t a complete substitute for noncompete agreements because “it’s very hard for an employer to know if an employee has taken information with them when they leave.” And employees may not fully understand what’s allowed and not allowed, says Beck, a founding partner of Beck Reed Riden, who has represented employees, former employers and new employers in noncompete cases.

In the article, Russell Beck explains that only a small minority of states have issued an outright ban on noncompete agreements:

California, North Dakota and Oklahoma have banned noncompete agreements since the 19th century. Beck, the lawyer in Boston, says that by his count, three-quarters of states have fiddled with their noncompete laws in recent years, most in the direction of restricting their use, though none going as far as joining the three states with bans.


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 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.