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Noncompetes and Restrictive Covenants 2020: What Every Lawyer, Human Resources Professional, and Key Strategic Decisionmaker Should Know


Speaker(s): Ashley Pertsemlidis, Astor Heaven, Benjamin I. Fink, Christopher P. Stief, Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips, Danielle Y. Vanderzanden, David S. Sanders, Erik J. Winton, Erik W. Weibust, Evan Starr, Hannah T. Joseph, James D. Vaughn, James P. Flynn, Jennifer S. Baldocchi, John F. Marsh, Katie Rowen, Michael D. Weil, Michael Lipsitz, Nicole Strothman, Russell Beck, Sid Leach
Recorded on: Jan. 31, 2020
PLI Program #: 289415

Astor Heaven is a trial lawyer in Crowell & Moring's Litigation and Antitrust groups and is located in the Washington, D.C. office.  Astor focuses on litigating trade secrets and other intellectual property, complex commercial, and antitrust cases in the defense, life sciences, and health care industries. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Surface Warfare Officer, Astor brings a unique perspective and discipline to achieving his client’s strategic objectives. 

Some of his recent matters include:

  • Representing a defense contractor in a trade secret misappropriation matter pertaining to the design and testing of certain U.S. Navy ships.
  • Representing plaintiff E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company in a trade secret misappropriation matter regarding its Kevlar® technology. 
  • Representing a device manufacturer as a plaintiff in a copyright infringement lawsuit regarding an automotive performance programmer.
  • Representing Humana in defense of a Section 1 price fixing claim brought by an allergy technician and support services provider.
  • Representing a pharmaceuticals company in defense of a putative class action alleging a conspiracy among manufacturers to fix prices for various generic drugs. 
  • Representing Humana in litigation against the U.S. Department of Justice in the DOJ’s attempt to enjoin the acquisition of the company by Aetna. Representing a major U.S. airline in defense of Sherman Act Section 1 and Section 2 claims brought by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding slots at Newark Liberty International Airport. 
  • Representing a food distributor as an interested third-party in a merger trial. 
  • Representing corporate clients in actions to recover damages resulting from a price-fixing conspiracy regarding Cathode Ray Tubes. 
  • Representing corporate clients in actions to recover damages resulting from a price-fixing cartel regarding LCD panels. 
  • Representing AT&T in defense of a nationwide antitrust class action relating to the iPhone.

Astor was named as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers Magazine (2014-2016), and as a "Super Lawyer" in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Astor also maintains an active pro bono practice. He has successfully tried cases in both Montgomery County Circuit Court and D.C. Superior court — both jury and bench trials — including representing criminal defendants and domestic violence victims. In addition, he has successfully attained U-Visa and T-Visa status for immigrant clients facing domestic violence.

Astor graduated from American University Washington College of Law in December 2005 and from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997, where he was a two-year letter winner for the football team. He currently serves as a trustee for the Naval Academy Foundation Athletic and Scholarship Program. Prior to Crowell, Astor worked at an international law firm for two years. He is licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia.


Chris Stief is Co-Chair of the Employee Defection and Trade Secrets practice group at national labor & employment law firm Fisher Phillips, with a nationwide and international practice focusing on restrictive covenant and trade secrets issues. His practice includes litigating and advising companies on covenants not to compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements, unfair competition, employee raiding and team moves, trade secrets, duty of loyalty, the U.S. Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), the U.S. Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA), and various state trade secrets and unfair competition statutes. He has a particular focus on restrictive covenant issues for companies that have a multi-state or multi-national workforce. There are four main segments to Chris’s practice:

  1. Drafting & Implementing Restrictive Covenants & Confidentiality Programs: Chris drafts covenants and helps clients develop programs to protect their competitive assets against employee defection, with a particular emphasis on creating such programs for businesses that operate on a multi-state or multi-national basis.International and cross-border drafting is an area of increasing demand.
  2. Employee Transitions -- Strategic Planning, Advice & Counseling: Chris spends a good deal of time in strategic planning with companies about potential recruits or upcoming employee transitions, including risk assessment and formulation of strategic options to minimize legal risks while preserving the value of a hiring opportunity.
  3. Restrictive Covenant, Trade Secrets and Employee Raiding Litigation: Chris has handled restrictive covenant, trade secrets, employee raiding and team-move disputes throughout the United States (at least 45 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico), as well as international matters and cross-border multi-jurisdictional disputes.
  4. Mergers & Acquisitions: Chris’s practice regularly intersects with merger and acquisition activities, including (a) drafting covenants for use in purchase or retention agreements, (b) assessing successor enforcement rights for covenants previously entered into by employees with acquisition targets, (c) litigating sale-of-business covenants, (d) advising on strategy for recruiting employees out of a competitor's pending acquisition target, and (e) litigating alleged employee “raids” of a recently acquired workforce.

Chris is "AV" Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, is listed as a Ranked Lawyer in Pennsylvania by Chambers USA and is a past Co-Chair of both the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Delaware County Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Committees. He is a founder and co-leader of the Fisher Phillips Financial Services Recruitment Litigation Conference, a participatory program first held in 2003 that focuses on restrictive covenant disputes among broker-dealers, private wealth management firms, registered investment advisors (RIAs), and insurance carrier distribution networks. He also was a keynote speaker and co-organizer of a conference in London, “Global Business Protections 2018: International Restrictive Covenants and Confidential Information,” and is presently planning the next iteration of this international restrictive covenants conference, scheduled for London in September 2020.


David S. Sanders is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is vice-chair of the firm’s Business Law Department and co-chair of the Trade Secret/Noncompete Specialty Practice. From 2010 through 2017, David served as co-chair of the firm’s Transactional & Securities Practice. David's practice is concentrated on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, employment, non-compete and trade secret issues, executive employment and termination agreements, leases, license agreements, general corporate matters, and the drafting and negotiation of all types of contracts and corporate documents. He is a member of the firm's Commercial Transactions & Business Counseling, Private Equity & Venture Capital and Real Estate Practices, as well as the Sports, Medical Devices, Technology, and Health Care Industry Teams. He also serves on the firm's Diversity Committee and Recruiting Committee.

David counsels public and private corporations and other business entities, including corporations and limited liability companies, on corporate matters involving formation, operation, and growth, as well as employment matters. David negotiates merger and acquisition transactions, joint ventures and other business contracts, leases, and agreements on behalf of clients. He frequently assists clients in negotiating, drafting, and creating various operational documents, including stock purchase, asset purchase and merger documents, employment and non-compete agreements, licensing, strategic alliance and joint venture agreements, employee termination agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, stock option plans, and leases. His general representation of business enterprises includes corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships. He is experienced in general corporate matters, including incorporation, organization, operating agreements, and shareholders’ agreements.

A substantial portion of David's practice involves representing medical devices, health services and biopharmaceutical companies, including with respect to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and manufacturing, purchasing, distribution, and supply agreements.


Erik is co-chair of the Litigation Department at Seyfarth Shaw’s Boston office and a member of the firm’s Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes practice group. He has a national litigation practice, representing companies of all sizes and in various industries throughout the United States in high-stakes commercial litigation involving theft of trade secrets, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, employee raiding, breach of fiduciary duty and the duty of loyalty, and unfair competition.  He also advises clients with respect to the protection of trade secrets and proprietary information; the drafting, implementation, and enforcement of post-employment restrictive covenants and commercial NDAs; and the hiring of executives, key employees, and strategic groups from competitors.

Erik is a nationally-recognized trade secrets attorney, regularly publishing articles and speaking on related topics locally and nationally. He has been quoted in the Washington Post and Law360 among other national publications. Erik currently serves as Vice Chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Trade Secrets Law Committee, Co-Lead of the Monetary Remedies in Trade Secrets Disputes Drafting Committee for The Sedona Conference Working Group on Trade Secrets, and Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Restrictive Covenants/Tortious Interference Sub-Committee of the Business Torts and Unfair Competition Committee.

Legal500 recommended Erik in its 2017, 2018, and 2019 editorials naming Seyfarth's Trade Secrets group as one of the top four in the country. Prior to joining Seyfarth, Erik clerked for the Honorable Peter W. Hall of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Erik J. Winton is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is the Co-Leader of the firm's Non-Competes and Protection Against Unfair Competition practice group. His practice focuses on restrictive covenant drafting, counseling, litigation avoidance and litigation. He regularly provides valuable counsel to clients in New England and across the country regarding these issues.

Mr. Winton has extensive experience as a litigator, including successful first chair jury trial experience. He represents employers in federal and state courts and administrative agencies in matters involving discrimination claims based on race, sex, sexual preference, national origin, and disability; retaliation, whistle blowing, wage/hour claims and Department of Labor complaints; allegations of wrongful discharge and breach of contract under the common law; and claims for tortuous injury, such as defamation, infliction of emotional distress and interference with advantageous relations. Mr. Winton has prevailed on the vast majority of dispositive motions filed on his clients’ behalf, including several reported cases.

Mr. Winton’s practice emphasizes advising employers regarding how to comply with the full range of federal and state labor and employment laws. This includes advising clients on issues relating to disability and leave management, reductions in force, wage and hour laws and workplace safety. Mr. Winton also drafts and negotiates executive employment and severance agreements on behalf of both employers and executives.

Mr. Winton speaks frequently regarding employment law issues. He joined the firm in 2000 after five years as a litigator at Fitzhugh & Associates (now Fitzhugh & Mariani, LLP), a litigation boutique with offices in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. While attending law school, he was on the staff of the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal.


Evan Starr is an Assistant Professor of Management & Organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. His research examines issues at the intersection of human capital, entrepreneurship, and technology, with a focus on employer-employee contracting practices. He is particularly interested in the impacts of postemployment restrictive covenants on workers and firms. His research has been covered in major news outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, NPR, Financial Times, and The Washington Post, in addition to appearing in leading journals in management and economics. Formerly a professor at the University of Illinois, Evan received his PhD from the University of Michigan. He has received several awards for his research and teaching, including the RH Smith Distinguished Teacher Award and the University of Maryland Research Communicator Impact Award. Evan teaches undergraduate, MBA, and PhD-level courses strategic management and empirical methods.


Hannah T. Joseph is a business and intellectual property litigator who represents corporate and individual clients in complex commercial litigation.

Hannah specializes in noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements, trade secrets, and employee mobility.

Hannah is an attorney with the firm’s litigation group, focusing her practice on the growing areas of trade secrets law, restrictive covenants, employee mobility, and unfair competition. She has counseled both corporate and individual clients on the use and enforceability of noncompete, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure agreements, and successfully litigated cases on both sides regarding the enforcement of such agreements. Hannah also represents corporate and individual clients in disputes involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and intra-corporate matters.

Hannah vigorously represents companies in employment matters, including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour, and retaliation claims.

She has litigated in state and federal court, and obtained successful results in mediation.

Hannah is also an active member of the Greater Boston legal community. She is an active member of the Boston Bar Association, where she currently serves as committee co-chair in the Intellectual Property Law Section. Hannah also co-founded the Boston Associates’ Networking Group, a networking association for associates at small- and mid-sized law firms, as well as in-house legal departments.


James D. Vaughn, a Managing Director of iDiscovery Solutions (iDS), is a court-recognized expert who has given testimony in nearly 70 cases involving topics such as evidence preservation, documentation of events, and computer forensic methodologies and procedures.  In addition to being an EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE), Mr. Vaughn is certified by the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS) as a Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE).

Mr. Vaughn has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers, attorneys, and other examiners on computer forensics and high-technology related issues involving best practices and methodologies.  He has 16 years law enforcement experience, has co-developed computer forensic courses for the California Department of Justice, and has been involved in high profile cases throughout his career.

Mr. Vaughn has extensive experience working on litigation and consulting matters in digital forensics, eDiscovery, and other high technology issues.  His experience covers both the Windows and MAC OS platforms.  He serves his clients through the litigation or consulting lifecycle by assisting them with important issues like data scoping, preserving, gathering, processing, hosting, review and production, as well as deeper diving issues uncovered through the use of digital forensics.

Mr. Vaughn’s matters have widely varied and span across diverse areas such as misappropriation of trade secrets, intellectual property issues, contract disputes, fraud investigations, alleged hacking, and employment disputes, among others.  He has served clients on the plaintiff side, the defendant side, and has served as a third party neutral on several occasions.


JAMES P. FLYNN is a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practices. He currently serves as the Managing Director of Epstein Becker Green. His practice focuses on civil litigation and corporate counseling, including trial and appellate work in the area of intellectual property, complex commercial matters, and employment law. Mr. Flynn represents businesses in a broad spectrum of industries, including health care, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. His experience is similarly diverse and includes:

  • Representing clients in restrictive covenant and non-competition matters, including the case of BD v. Maniar, Superior Court Of New Jersey, Chancery Division: Bergen County, Docket No.: Ber-C-159-13, where BD secured preliminary and later permanent injunction against theft of trade secrets by a former employee, and a criminal referral lead to later conviction.
  • Representing clients in a wide variety of intellectual property matters, including counseling clients and litigating disputes concerning copyright infringement, cyber-squatting, trademark infringement and counterfeiting issues, false advertising, substantiation, patent cases and consumer fraud
  • Providing counsel and drafting advice for clients embarking on new business ventures, and drafts licensing, distribution, confidentiality, employment, and other agreements

An accomplished author and speaker, Mr. Flynn has published articles and lectured on developments in employment law, patent and trademark jurisprudence, protection of confidentiality and trade secrets, evidence rules and trial practice, as well as on the ethical rules governing attorneys. He also has written and lectured on the protection of confidential information and the risks and rewards associated with the use of social media in the workplace and in business. ln the Employment Libel and Privacy Law 50-State Survey, published by the Media Law Resource Center, Mr. Flynn authored the chapter on New Jersey employment libel law, with annual updates. Writing on a variety of intellectual property issues, he also contributes regularly to the ILN Insider, published by the International Lawyers Network.

A voracious reader with an inquisitive intellect that enjoys focusing on an eclectic array of subjects, Mr. Flynn brings to his practice the sort of imaginative faculties and linguistic capacity that such endeavors and interests engender. Before becoming the firm's Managing Director, Jim served as the firm's General Counsel, building on earlier episodes of service reflected in his being a recipient at Wesleyan University of both the Davenport Prize (for excellence shown by a senior in government and politics) and Morningstar Award (to the varsity basketball player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, determination, and unselfishness), a member of the Board of Student Advisers at Harvard Law School, member of his hometown's Board of Education and of mayoral task forces on city planning and port access issues, Trustee and General Counsel to the Simpson Baber Foundation for the Autistic (2001 to 2014), and a longtime secretary/registrar for the Bayonne Youth Hockey Association (2006-2015).

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business has ranked Mr. Flynn among the "Leaders in Their Field" in New Jersey for Labor & Employment (2016 to 2019). He was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© (2015 to 2020), in the field of Commercial Litigation, and has been named to the New Jersey Super Lawyers list (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 to 2019), in the areas of Employment & Labor and Employment Litigation: Defense. Mr. Flynn was also recommended by The Legal 500 United States, in the areas of Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense (2018, 2019) and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2019).


Jennifer S. Baldocchi is a partner in the Employment Law practice of Paul Hastings and Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Employment Law Department. Her practice focuses on employee mobility and intellectual property, including trade secrets, covenants not to compete, unfair competition, and fiduciary duties.   She is recognized by Legal 500 US for trade secrets litigation and non-contentious matters.   Ms. Baldocchi has significant trial experience.   She litigates trade secret misappropriation claims, as well as disputes over restrictive covenants in employment-related agreements.   She provides advice on best practices to protect and enforce intellectual property rights and restrictive covenants.  On the transactional side, she prepares employee and executive contracts, focusing on the protection of trade secrets and the prevention of improper customer and employee solicitations.

Ms. Baldocchi’s practice also involves advising and defending employers in complex employment claims such as wrongful discharge, discrimination, retaliation, and harassment.  She defends class actions and multi-district litigation, including disparate treatment, disparate impact, and wage and hour class actions.  Ms. Baldocchi also counsels clients in wage and hour issues and investigations.


Katie Rowen currently serves as the Vice President of Labor & Employment and Litigation for Fortive Corporation.  Fortive, a Fortune 500 diversified industrial growth company, is headquartered in Everett, Washington, and has roughly 28,000 employees working across more than 50 countries.

Prior to joining Fortive, Katie worked for Raytheon Company.  Katie joined Raytheon as the head of labor and employment law for Raytheon’s largest business unit, Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS), in Tucson, Arizona.  In addition to representing Human Resources at RMS, she acted as counsel to Security, Facilities, Real Estate and Operations and handled the business unit’s general litigation.  She also led crisis management for RMS. 

Katie’s last position with Raytheon was at Raytheon’s headquarters in Massachusetts, serving as the deputy head of ethics and compliance for the global defense company.  Prior to Raytheon, Katie was in private practice specializing in general litigation. 


Michael Lipsitz is an assistant professor of economics in the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He teaches classes in microeconomic theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as an undergraduate course in the economics of sports. His research spans labor economics and the economics of contracting, with a particular focus on labor mobility and power dynamics in labor markets and within firms. His work has been supported by the Russell Sage Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg foundation, and has been mentioned in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.


Michael Weil, an Employment partner in the San Francisco office, represents clients in high-stakes employment, trade secrets and employee mobility litigation throughout the United States. Michael was recognized as a Rising Star in his field by Law360.

Michael's practice focuses on matters involving trade secrets, restrictive covenants, employee mobility issues, wrongful termination and discrimination. He has also defended numerous wage-and-hour class actions and representative actions under state and federal laws, including claims for overtime, vacation, meal and rest break penalties, waiting-time penalties and other alleged Labor Code violations. Finally, Michael counsels clients on a wide variety of employment and related corporate issues.


Ms. Strothman serves as General Counsel to Ideal Image Development, Inc., the nations largest medspa in North America with over 160 clinics and 1600 employees.  As General Counsel, Nicole advises on legal and regulatory matters involving health care, mergers and acquisitions, employment & non-competes, franchising, intellectual property, real estate, and government relations. She has direct experience drafting and enforcing non-competes across 32 states.

While serving as General Counsel since 2005, she has also held various operational roles ranging from Head of Human Resources, Director of Franchise Operations to Risk Manager.  Such operational experience has allowed her to stay agile and fully understand Ideal Image’s goals to add strategic value.

Nicole has been a thought leader in the medical spa industry, crafting model legislation and over 10 state legislative actions.  She was the founder and President of the International Aesthetic and Laser Association which later merged with AmSpa, a large trade association serving the aesthetic industry.  She has spoken on the following topics in the past:  Litigation Prevention, Mergers and Acquisitions, In-House Counsel and Outside Counsel Relationships.

Nicole’s graduate education includes earning a M.B.A. at Stetson University and Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law.  She was an English major with an emphasis on Business at Florida State University.

Her peers selected her as a 2014 and 2015 Tampa Bay Business Journal Top General Counsel finalist.

In her spare time, Nicole enjoys spending time with family, skiing, furthering her Level 1 Sommelier studies and traveling.


Ms. Vanderzanden is a Shareholder in the Boston and Portland (ME) offices, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Data Privacy Practice Group.  She specializes in the areas of privacy, restrictive covenant, wage and hour, discrimination and labor and employment litigation and counseling.  She devotes her practice to helping employers with employment-related disputes, conducting investigations and providing counsel to clients seeking to reduce their potential for liability to their employees and third parties.  She has personally conducted dozens of investigations, including investigations involving employee allegations of misconduct by company executives and systemic discrimination.

She is CIPP/US certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals and provides advice regarding cybersecurity and privacy matters, including applicable state, federal and multi-national privacy and information security requirements.  For nearly ten years, she has provided clients with advice regarding written information security policies and all aspects of data breach remediation, response and notification.  She has counseled dozens of clients through the process of complying with a myriad of data breach notification requirements among the 50 United States and in a variety of multi-national data breach scenarios.  She routinely helps clients navigate the choppy waters churned by the challenges of social networking sites, the Internet of Things and related technological developments. In 2015, the National Law Journal selected Ms. Vanderzanden for inclusion on its inaugural list of “Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazers.”

She has successfully represented clients in numerous cases involving restrictive covenants and intellectual property disputes and claims for ERISA benefits and executive compensation.  She has defended single plaintiff and class and collective action wage and hour disputes (including, but not limited to, claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Massachusetts Wage Payment Law and the Massachusetts Tip Pooling Statute); sex, race, age, religion and disability discrimination and/or harassment claims; and tort and retaliation matters.  She has many years of experience defending clients against privacy-related claims, and she regularly helps clients develop policies, practices, protocols, training programs, audits and remedial measures to diminish the risks associated with information security breaches.

Ms. Vanderzanden regularly speaks before industry groups and legal organizations and at conferences, roundtables, webinars and seminars.  She also provides internal training programs on topics such as data privacy and security compliance, conducting effective internal investigations, protecting intellectual property and human resource assets, complying with applicable wage and anti-discrimination laws.  She is an effective trial lawyer who has tried over 20 cases by herself or as first chair and has managed and resolved or taken to hearing dozens of employment arbitrations.

In addition to many years of experience litigating in the U.S. Court of Appeals, First and Second Circuits, and in the state and federal courts in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, she also has represented numerous clients in arbitrations before the AAA, NASD, and FINRA.

Comments of others, particularly clients, best describe Ms. Vanderzanden’s legal skills.   The 2014 Chambers and Partners Client Guide notes that clients say that she “hones in on the issues with a laser-like focus and is creative in how she makes her points.” The same Guide described her as “incredibly talented, very quick on her feet and very good strategically.” In its 2010 Client Guide, Chambers described Ms. Vanderzanden as providing “immediate, practical and comprehensive advice in all areas of employment law.” And, the 2009 Client Guide reported that she “is praised for her outstanding work in noncompete and wage and hour claims.”


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, the BBC World News Service, PBS Newshour, Le Monde, and many others.

Russell has over 30 years of experience, representing clients (ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individuals) throughout the country in federal and state trial and appellate courts, arbitrations, and mediations. Russell also serves as a mediator in trade secrets and noncompete disputes, as well as in commercial, copyright, and trademark matters.

  • 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 assisted a United States Senator on proposed noncompete legislation.
  • He was asked to advise on, and ultimately 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.

Russell writes and administers the award-winning Fair Competition Law blog and publishes and lectures frequently, including authoring the books, Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015) and Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practioner (1st ed., MCLE 2019). He prepared his firm’s widely-used 50 State Noncompete Survey (the first of its kind and updated regularly since 2010). He prepared the firm’s 50 State Trade Secrets Comparison Chart (also the first of its kind).

Russell developed and teaches Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law and served as chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secrets Committee.

Prior to founding the firm, Russell was a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he was founder and chair of the Trade Secret/Noncompete Practice.  Before that, he was a partner at Epstein Becker & Green, PC, and an associate at Reynolds Rappaport & Kaplan and at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.


Sid Leach has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.  He was honored with a Doctor of Science degree from the University of Arizona.

Sid Leach has 40 years of experience in intellectual property litigation.  He has litigated covenants not to compete, trade secret cases, patent cases, trademark cases, copyright cases, proceedings before the International Trade Commission, Patent Office trademark opposition proceedings, and Patent Office interference proceedings.  He has appeared in cases across the country in more than 30 states.

In 2009, Sid obtained one of the top ten jury verdicts in Arizona in a trademark case.

In 2012, he was named Phoenix Lawyer of the Year in Patent Law by Best Lawyers in America.  In 2017, he was named Phoenix Lawyer of the Year in Trademark Law by Best Lawyers in America.

In 2020, he was named Phoenix Lawyer of the Year in Patent Infringement Litigation by Best Lawyers in America.

Sid was a competitive skydiver, and won a gold medal in 8-way competition at the 1999 U.S. National Formation Skydiving Competition.  He is an amateur astronomer.  He currently serves as Chairman of the Arizona Astronomy Board.  He can also send and receive Morse code at 20 words-per-minute. 


Ben is a shareholder at Berman Fink Van Horn P.C. in Atlanta, Georgia. His practice focuses on business and commercial litigation with an emphasis on competition-related disputes, including non-competes and trade secrets. A published author on restrictive covenants, he blogs regularly on non-compete and trade secret topics (www.bfvlaw.com/blogs). Ben’s publications include co-authoring a chapter on Restrictive Covenant Litigation for Georgia Business Litigation and a Practice Note on Georgia Confidentiality, Nondisclosure and Non-Solicitation Agreements for Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law. In recognition of his thought leadership in the trade secrets arena, he was invited to attend The Inaugural Sedona Conference on Developing Best Practices for Trade Secrets Issues that was held in December 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He now serves on the Sedona Conference drafting team for Principles/Best Practices Commentary on Protecting Trade Secrets in Litigation as part of Working Group 12 on Trade Secrets.  He is a frequent guest speaker at various seminars on non-compete, trade secrets and other related topics throughout Georgia and other parts of the country. A member of the Labor and Employment Law Section Board of Directors of the Atlanta Bar Association, he served as Chair (2014- 2015).  He currently serves as Programming Chair of the Trade Secrets Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, having previously served as Chair of the Cybersecurity Subcommittee (2015-2018) and Legislative Subcommittee (2013-2015). Since 2005, he has been named a Super Lawyer, as well as being designated as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Georgia since 2013. He’s been named one of Georgia’s Legal Elite since 2012. Since 2015, he has been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America, and in 2015 he was elected as a member of the Litigation Counsel of America. He obtained his J.D. degree from Emory University School of Law, where he has served on the Alumni Board since 2016 and was recently appointed President-elect. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Duke University, where he serves on the Atlanta Regional Alumni Board.


Following his nomination by President Donald J. Trump and unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate, Noah Joshua Phillips was sworn in as a Commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission on May 2, 2018. Before coming to the FTC, Phillips served as Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator John Cornyn, of Texas, on the Senate Judiciary Committee. From 2011 to 2018, he advised Senator Cornyn on legal and policy matters including antitrust, constitutional law, consumer privacy, fraud, and intellectual property. Prior to his Senate service, Phillips worked as a litigator at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, in New York City, and Steptoe & Johnson LLP, in Washington, D.C. Phillips began his career at Wasserstein Perella & Co., an investment bank in New York City. Phillips received his A.B. from Dartmouth College and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.


John’s commercial litigation practice concentrates on trade secrets litigation and the enforcement of non-competes throughout the United States.  John is listed in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of The Best Lawyers of America for Litigation – Intellectual Property and in the 2009-18 editions of Ohio Super Lawyers, and he is AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest available rating for legal ability and professional ethics.  He has been quoted on trade secret law and restrictive covenant issues by The Wall Street Journal, Inside Counsel, Law360, The National Law JournalManaging IP and Wired; and his blog, “The Trade Secret Litigator” (www.tradesecretlitigator.com), has been cited by publications including The Wall Street Journal

As the Chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secret Law Committee, John was actively involved in providing comments and supporting the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the federal statute that The Wall Street Journal called the “most significant expansion” of federal IP law in 70 years.


Experience
• Sr. Pharmaceuticals Counsel
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Sep 2003 – Present (16 years 4 months)

• Litigation Associate
Herrick, Feinstein LLP
Oct 2002 – Sep 2003 (1 year)

• Law Clerk
Hon. Arthur D. Spatt, U.S.D.J., E.D.N.Y.
Oct 2000 – Oct 2002 (2 years 1 month)

• Assistant District Attorney
Office of the District Attorney, Bronx County
Sep 1997 – Sep 2000 (3 years 1 month)

Education
• American University, Washington College of Law
J.D.
1994 – 1997

• Princeton University
A.B.
1989 – 1993

• The Pingry School
1985 – 1989