Russell Beck in The Christian Science Monitor on Noncompete Agreements

Russell BeckA recent article in The Christian Science Monitor features Russell Beck in a story titled “States move to keep noncompete agreements from shackling workers to jobs.”

The article discusses efforts by various states to reform noncompete agreements, including legislation pending in the Massachusetts State Legislature that would reform the use and enforcement of non-compete agreements.

The article was written by Christian Science Monitor business editor Schuyler Velasco.

In the story, Russell Beck addresses the use of noncompete agreements as follows:

“Noncompetes serve a legitimate purpose, but like every other tool they can be abused,” says Russell Beck, a partner at the Boston law firm Beck Reed Riden LLP and a leading authority on noncompete litigation.

The story delves into the history of noncompete agreements and quotes Russell on their current uses:

Noncompetes are centuries old. Experts trace the earliest dispute over such a contract back to 1414, when a clothes-dyer’s apprentice in England opened a business in the same town as his former master.

In the present day, noncompetes have typically been used for employees in the upper echelons of industries that rely on trade secrets, institutional knowledge, and longstanding interpersonal relationships – think biomedical research, the tech sector, and certain types of sales, Mr. Beck says. “They’re appropriate for employees that actually pose a risk” to a business being able “to operate upon their exit.” addresses a negative consequence of the extensive use of noncompete clauses as follows:

In recent years, however, noncompetes have prompted criticism and closer scrutiny. First, they are surprisingly ubiquitous: According to a March 2016 report from the Treasury Department, 30 million Americans, or about 18 percent of the US workforce, are covered by noncompete agreements. Second, Beck says, they are limiting workers’ outside careers beyond what many would consider reasonable.

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.

Beck Reed Riden LLPis 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. Recently, 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 sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters

  • 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 750 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 2014 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP specializes in noncompete litigation and is a trade secrets expert. He comes highly recommended by his peers for his nationwide practice in this niche. ‘He’s fantastic,’ sources say.”

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.