Richard Frey

Richard Frey is a partner in the Labor & Employment practice group at Nixon Peabody. He is a seasoned litigator and trial lawyer with a long track record of high-profile wins in trade secret and mobility disputes, complex business litigation, and wage and hour class actions.

Representative experience:

  • Representing CABIA in suing the State of California to invalidate PAGA on constitutional grounds. Currently on appeal after being heard in Orange County Superior Court, Rich is arguing that permitting employees to claim workplace-wide Labor Code violations and demand civil penalties from an employer violates California’s constitution, and resulted in an unfair system that compels employers to settle regardless of the merits.
  • Obtained a very favorable result in a trade secret and breach of fiduciary duty case in federal court between a Chinese joint venture and a former US-based employee, who caused a patent to be put in his relative’s name and set up a competing business in China. A significant part of the successful strategy included winning two spoliation motions and obtaining significant evidentiary sanctions. Rich also defeated the employee’s counterclaims.
  • Led the representation of a group of employees who left a bank to join another bank. The former bank sued the employees, claiming they violated trade secret laws and breached fiduciary duties by leaving to join an alleged competitor in the healthcare lending space. After several motions and many contentious months of litigation, Rich was able to secure a dismissal of the claims against his clients.
  • Successfully prosecuted whistleblower and retaliation claims on behalf of the departed CFO of a private software company. The CFO had an ownership claim in the business but was fired abruptly and placed in a position of losing his ownership claim. Rich was able to leverage his reputation and ability to ultimately go to trial to obtain a complete payout of the ownership interest with no downward adjustments despite the business being a private company.
  • Secured a significant attorneys’ fee award in a state action on behalf of a national insurance brokerage group arising out of a threatened trade secret and breach of contract claim by another broker. Confronted with a possible claim by an out-of-state company in Texas, Rich successfully sued in California and convinced the trial court to ignore the Texas forum selection clause. Ultimately, Rich secured a declaratory judgment that his client had not violated any laws or breached a non-compete clause in the contract. The icing on the cake was successfully enforcing the attorneys’ provision in the contract, so that his client also recovered the majority of its expenses in bringing the action.