Russell Beck Quoted in Associated Press Article on Noncompete Law

Russell Beck was quoted by the Associated Press in a recent article titled “Garden Clause in New Law Requires Pay During Noncompete” that discusses the new Massachusetts noncompete law. The story also ran in the Washington Post, among other outlets.

The article describes how the new Massaschusetts noncompete law requires either garden leave, which is payment of a portion of an employee’s salary during the post-employment noncompete period, or payment of “mutually-agreed upon consideration,” instead.

In the story, Russell describes the compromise between legislators who wanted garden leave in the new law, and those who did not, as follows:

“It’s absolutely a middle ground,” said Russell Beck, a partner with the Boston firm of Beck Reed Riden and an expert on intellectual property law.

Some Democratic legislators, Beck noted, wanted a more stringent garden leave clause that would pay workers their full previous salary during the restricted period, while others wanted an outright ban on noncompetes.

Most companies “will fall back on the mutually-agreed upon consideration,” rather than pay garden leave, he predicted.

In addition, the article cites Russell’s research on noncompete laws around the country, and references Beck Reed Riden LLP’s 50 State Noncompete Survey:

Laws surrounding noncompetes and trade are a state-by-state patchwork, according to a recent survey by Beck’s firm. In addition to California, North Dakota and Oklahoma do not recognize the agreements and other states use language requiring them to be “reasonable,” or serve a “legitimate business interest.” Changes have been weighed by legislatures in other states, but it’s too soon to know if any will follow Massachusetts’ lead and make garden leave part of their approach, Beck said.

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 has been the lead drafter of their noncompete 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.