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

He was invited to the Obama 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 corporate and individual clients throughout the country in federal and state trial and appellate courts, arbitrations, and mediations.

Russell is a leading authority on the law of trade secrets and noncompetes. In addition to his many years assisting his clients (ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individuals) on trade secrets and noncompete matters around the country, he is frequently called upon to advise on trade secrets and noncompete legislation and policy issues.

  • 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.)
  • He was asked to draft one of the first two noncompete bills filed in Massachusetts. For the next nine years, he advised several Massachusetts legislators on potential trade secrets and noncompete legislation, drafted or revised many of the proposed noncompete bills (which became law effective on October 1, 2018), modified the trade secrets bill (which became law effective on October 1, 2018), and provided advice to the Patrick Administration about its proposed noncompete and trade secrets bill.
  • He has assisted a United States Senator on proposed noncompete legislation.

He has been quoted and his work cited in The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe Boston GlobeThe Boston HeraldFortune, and Le Monde, as well as by the White House and the United States Treasury Department. He has also been interviewed on PBS NewshourOn Point (NPR/WBUR), and NECN News.

Russell has prepared several resources that are widely used:

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 is also frequently called upon to advise clients concerning the prevention and minimization of litigation risks both in Massachusetts and nationally. Such services include 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 secrets training; preparation of alternative dispute resolution agreements; and advice concerning the on-boarding and off-boarding of employees subject to restrictive covenants, 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 high-tech matters, copyright infringement matters, trademark disputes, unfair competition claims, business-to-business matters, and breach of contract claims.

Russell’s experience includes:

  • Lead counsel for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individuals in complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal court trials, arbitrations, mediations, and binding mediations, from pre-litigation through trial and appeal.
  • Lead counsel for a broad range of clients on diverse matters, including protection of trade secrets (under both the Defend Trade Secrets Act and state laws), enforcement and defense of noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, employee mobility issues, contract disputes, copyright and trademark matters, false designation of origin claims, unfair competition claims, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) claims, fraud and business torts, post-acquisition breach of contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, commercial lease disputes, and domestic and international jurisdiction and choice-of-law disputes.
  • Lead counsel for lawyers and law firms in professional liability, partner withdrawals, and fiduciary duty matters.
  • Lead counsel for clients in a broad range of industries, including software, computer-related technology, healthcare 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.
  • Lead counsel for healthcare clients (payors and providers) in payor/provider disputes, member claims, contracting issues, responses to civil investigative demands, restrictive covenant enforcement and defense, and alternative dispute resolution matters.
  • Lead counsel for individuals and corporate clients in land use and development matters.
  • Mediator in commercial disputes and intellectual property matters.

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 a trained mediator.

In addition to the countless mediations he has handled for his clients over the course of more than 30 years, Russell serves as a mediator on commercial matters, including disputes involving trade secrets, noncompetes and other restrictive covenants, and trademarks, as well as other business disputes.

Russell authored the chapter, ADR for CEOs – What General Counsel Need to Know About Drafting ADR or Mediation Provisions in Contracts, for the book, ADR Law Insights – Top ADR Lawyers Share What They Knew Best (ExecSense, Inc. 2012).

Russell serves as a member of the Sedona Conference’s Trade Secrets Working Group, a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Legislation Committee, President Elect of the Boston Bar Foundation, a member of the Boston Bar Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, and is a Fellow in the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows.

Previously, Russell served as chair and, prior to that, vice chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secrets Committee, vice chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secrets Litigation Subcommittee (of the Trade Secrets Committee), chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Legislation Subcommittee (of the Trade Secrets Committee), co-chair of the Boston Patent Law Association’s Trade Secret Committee, co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section, a member of the Boston Bar Association Council and Executive Committee, co-chair of the Boston Bar Association Strategic Planning Committee, and co-chair of the Boston Bar Association Annual Meeting Committee, has been a member and co-chair of the Boston Bar Foundation John & Abigail Adams Benefit steering committee, served as Secretary of the Committee on Legal Assistance at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, served on the Town of Marblehead Planning Board, sat on the ethics committee of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, served as a volunteer alumni interviewer for the Tufts University admissions program, and served as chair and co-chair of Foley & Lardner’s Boston office pro bono committee and a member of the national pro bono committee.

In addition to administering the award-winning Fair Competition Law blog, Russell writes, lectures, and is quoted or cited in connection with various intellectual property and other legal issues, including enforcement and defense of noncompete agreements, protection of trade secrets, trademark disputes, copyright issues, arbitration, mediation, and binding mediation. Recent representative presentations and publications include:

Business Litigation

Trade Secrets Litigation & Counseling 

Noncompete Litigation & Counseling 

Unfair Competition Litigation & Counseling

Employee Mobility Litigation & Counseling

Lawyer Mobility Litigation & Counseling

Trademark Litigation

Copyright Litigation




J.D., Boston University School of Law  (magna cum laude, 1989)

B.S., Tufts University (computer science,   1986)

Chambers USA (for trade secrets and noncompetes)

Lawyer of the Year (2018) (awarded 2019 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly)

Martindale Hubble, AV rated (highest possible rating)

Top 100 Lawyers in New England, Super Lawyers® (2011-present)

Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts, Super Lawyers® (2011-present)

Massachusetts Super Lawyers® (an honor received by only 5% of Massachusetts attorneys, 2005-present)

Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow

Avvo Rating 10/Superb

Up and Coming Litigator, Benchmark Legal (2008)

Law Review, Boston University School of Law

Carl H. Hitchner Mentor of the Year Award


New York

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the District of Wisconsin

Boston Bar Association

American Intellectual Property Law Association