Russell Beck was quoted by the The Boston Globe in a recent story about the brand new Massachusetts Noncompete Law, which was largely drafted by Attorney Beck. The story is titled “Five ways the state’s revised noncompete rules could affect you.” The article was written by Globe correspondent .

The story discusses various workplace scenarios that may be affected by the new statute.

In the article, Russell provides analysis of the following scenario:

A sales representative who signed a two-year noncompete this month decides to leave her job in November. She assumes the new law means that two-year noncompete agreements will no longer be enforced by Massachusetts courts. She waits one year and a day before joining a rival of her former employer.

Russell Beck, a partner at the Boston law firm Beck Reed Riden who helped draft the new legislation, says the sales person would still be at risk of being taken to court by the first employer. “I don’t think the new legislation will have any immediate impact on noncompetes entered into prior to Oct. 1.”

In another hypothetical scenario, Russell analyzes the application of the new noncompete law as follows:

A marketing consultant working for a new apparel company in Boston is not an employee, but an independent contractor billing the client at $100 per hour. Despite that, her client asks her to sign a noncompete agreement that will last for one year, and she does. The agreement says the client will pay her a $5,000 fee if it wants to enforce the noncompete. After three months of consulting, she decides to stop working for the company, it pays her $5,000, and asks her not to consult for other apparel companies for a year.

That’s probably acceptable under the new law, Beck says. While in the past independent contractors haven’t typically been asked to sign noncompetes, he says, the new legislation creates the possibility. “This almost suggests to employers, ‘Think about doing it — it’s available to you,’” he says.

For the past nine years, Russell Beck has been advising various members of the Massachusetts Legislature (primarily Senator Will Brownsberger and Representative Lori Ehrlich) and he was the lead drafter of their bills. Most of the language in the current noncompete law is language that Russell Beck drafted or is based on language that he drafted, though a number of the provisions (such as garden leave) were added by others or significantly modified by others.

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning non-compete 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; it includes:

  • Over twenty two 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
  • 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 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.