Russell Beck

Russell Beck

Russell Beck Commercial Dispute Litigation Partner; Trade Secret, Non-Compete and Employee Mobility Attorney, Beck Reed Riden LLP


Russell Beck is a business, trade secrets, and employee mobility litigator, nationally recognized for his trade secrets and noncompete experience.

Called “one of the foremost trade secret litigators in the country,” Russell was named a “Lawyer of the Year” for 2022 and 2023 by Best Lawyers. He has also been included in the Top 10 Lawyers in Massachusetts by Super Lawyers® every year since 2020.

He was invited to the White House to develop guidelines for the proper use of noncompetes and has been cited as an expert on trade secrets and noncompetes by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the White House, the Treasury Department, National Public Radio, PBS, the BBC World News Service, Le Monde, and many others.

Russell has over 30 years of experience as a complex business, trade secrets, and noncompete litigator, representing clients throughout the country.

Russell represents clients in Massachusetts and nationally, both in litigation and in the prevention and minimization of litigation and litigation risks.

A leading authority on the law of trade secrets, noncompetes, and employee mobility, Russell literally wrote the law, wrote the book, and teaches the course on noncompete law in Massachusetts. He also revised the Massachusetts Uniform Trade Secrets Act. He wrote the books Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019) and Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), teaches the course Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law, and co-hosts a podcast on trade secrets and restrictive covenants called Fairly Competing.

In 2016, he was invited to the White House to participate in working group discussions that led to the development by the White House of a Call to Action on noncompetes. (He was the only private practice lawyer to participate in those discussions.)

  1. He was asked to draft one of the first two noncompete bills filed in Massachusetts. For the next decade, he advised several Massachusetts legislators on potential trade secrets and noncompete legislation, drafted or revised many of the proposed noncompete bills (including most of the language in the law that became effective on October 1, 2018), modified the trade secrets bill (which became law effective on October 1, 2018), and provided advice to Former Governor Duval Patrick’s Administration about its proposed noncompete and trade secrets bill.
  2. He has assisted a United States Senator on proposed noncompete legislation.
  3. He has been quoted and his work cited in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Fortune, CNBC, and Le Monde, as well as by the White House and the United States Treasury Department. He has also been interviewed on PBS Newshour, On Point (NPR/WBUR), Weekend Edition (NPR), and NECN News, and was featured in the cover story of Super Lawyers New England Magazine.

Russell has prepared several widely used resources:

  1. He authored the book, Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019) (covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law).
  2. He authored the book, Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021) (covering Massachusetts noncompete law).
  3. He authored the chapters Trade Secret Misappropriation and Noncompetition Agreements for Intellectual Property Practice (MCLE, Inc. 2004-2016) (covering trade secrets law nationally and Massachusetts noncompete law).
  4. He prepared the firm’s widely-used 50 State Noncompete Survey (the first of its kind and updated regularly since 2010).
  5. He prepared the firm’s 50 State Trade Secrets Comparison Chart (also the first of its kind).
  6. Russell also founded and chaired Foley & Lardner LLP’s Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice and created and teaches Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law. (Boston University’s Intellectual Property program, of which Russell’s course is a part, has been ranked in the top 10 in the country by U.S. News and World Reports.)

Russell also helps clients with the preparation of noncompetition agreements, nondisclosure agreements, no-raid agreements, nonsolicitation agreements, and other restrictive covenants; the performance of trade secret audits and establishment of comprehensive trade secret protection programs; trade secret protection training; and strategizing the on-boarding and off-boarding of employees subject to restrictive covenants who are joining a client from a competitor or leaving a client to join a competitor.

In addition to his national trade secrets and noncompete litigation practice, Russell’s practice concentrates on complex business litigation, including B2B disputes, fraud and business torts, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, employee mobility matters, lawyer (partner) mobility matters, high-tech disputes, copyright infringement litigation, trademark disputes, unfair competition claims, and breach of contract claims. He represents clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individuals in a broad range of industries, including software, computer-related technology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, retail, B2B sales and distribution, marketing, hospitality and events, real estate, insurance, financial services, legal services, expert services, health and beauty services, consulting, staffing, and many others, helping them with complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal court trials, arbitrations, and mediations, from pre-litigation through trial and appeal.

Immediately prior to founding Beck Reed Riden LLP, Russell was a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and chair of the firm’s Trade Secret/Noncompete Practice. He previously was a partner at Epstein Becker & Green, PC, and an associate at Reynolds Rappaport & Kaplan and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Russell was also an instructor in the Boston University Law School’s First Year Writing Program.

Russell is the past President of the Boston Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), a trial lawyer honorary society representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.

Selected to Super Lawyer’s Top 10 Lawyers in Massachusetts every year since 2020, he has been selected as one of Super Lawyers’ Top 100 Lawyers in New England and Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts every year since 2011, featured in the cover story of Super Lawyers New England Magazine, and is included in Best Lawyers and Chambers and Partners, which states, “He is widely considered ‘an expert in his field.’”

In 2019, Russell was named a Lawyer of the Year for 2018 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Russell has also been named a “Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Boston” for 2022 and 2023 by Best Lawyers.

And, his work is recognized by The Legal 500 United States, helping Beck Reed Riden to be the only small firm selected for inclusion in the Trade Secrets rankings. Some of the testimonials provide: “Russell Beck is one of the foremost trade secret litigators in the country,” “Russell’s approach to litigation also differentiates him from competitors. Although his firm is small, he can litigate with anyone and can do so in a cost-effective manner. His results for his clients speak for themselves.”