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Brian D. Lipkin

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA

Houston Harbaugh, P.C.
401 Liberty Ave, 22nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412-394-5456
Fax: 412-253-8894
Selected to Rising Stars: 2013 - 2015, 2017 - 2022
Licensed in Pennsylvania Since: 2016
Practice Areas: Business Litigation (50%), Employment Litigation: Defense (30%), Employment & Labor: Employer (10%), Insurance Coverage (10%)
Languages Spoken: English, Spanish
  • Free Consultation
Attorney Profile

Brian D. Lipkin is a partner at Houston Harbaugh, P.C., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Providing knowledgeable and sound counsel to his clients, Mr. Lipkin takes on business law, employment law, and insurance coverage and bad faith law. Serving clients throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, he takes on cases involving discrimination, retaliation, noncompete, trade secret, wage and hour, whistleblower and more.

Mr. Lipkin also takes on cases involving real estate, contract, environmental and product liability disputes. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Lipkin serves as counselor and outside general counsel, where he provides advice and aids in negotiating contracts. He is a zealous and tenacious advocate for his clients who seek his help. He is well known for his unique approach wherein he goes out of his way to learn about his clients’ businesses.

Mr. Lipkin has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University, majoring in political science and Spanish, and graduating cum laude. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the Boston College Law School. During law school, he was an articles editor for the Third World Law Journal. He won many mock trial tournaments and was awarded the Gill Award for Outstanding Mock Trial Participant. He was also an intern with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association.

Mr. Lipkin is actively involved in his legal community and is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and its Labor and Employment Law Council, and he was past secretary of its Young Lawyers Division. He was past co-chair of the Young Lawyers Association’s education committee. He was a past member of the Bench Bar Conference Programming Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association. He was also a past board member of the Mushroom Family Learning Center.

Mr. Lipkin is licensed to practice in the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire, and before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st and 3rd Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Mr. Lipkin has a long list of winning settlements and verdicts on behalf of his clients. Honored for his outstanding legal work, he has a “Superb” rating on Avvo, along with numerous testimonials from his happy clients. He has written extensively on legal issues and has many published works. He has also lectured at many prominent legal organizations.

Practice Areas
  • 50%Business Litigation
  • 30%Employment Litigation: Defense
  • 10%Employment & Labor: Employer
  • 10%Insurance Coverage
Focus Areas

Trade Secret, Non-Compete Agreements, Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Employment Law - Employer, Unions, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment, Labor Law, Insurance, Bad Faith Insurance


9 Years Rising Stars
  • Rising Stars: 2013 - 2015, 2017 - 2022

About Brian D. Lipkin

First Admitted: 2009, Massachusetts

Professional Webpage:


  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2017-Present
  • , 10/10 Rating, AVVO
  • , Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2013-2015

Educational Background

  • Tufts University - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Spanish, 2005


  • Plaintiff's verdict - Kenney v. Conway, Dedham District Court No. 1354SU256, 2015
  • Defense verdict - U.S. ex rel. Jones v. Brigham and Women's Hospital - U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts No. 1:07-cv-11481, 2013

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • When you are preparing or revising an employee handbook, this checklist may be helpful., Author, Is Your Employee Handbook Up to Date? Compare It With This Checklist, The Legal Intelligencer, 2018
  • Last week, the federal government issued new COVID vaccine rules that will apply to many federal contractors and subcontractors. These are the highlights., Author, Does Your Business Contract With the Federal Government? Here’s What You Need to Know About New COVID Vaccine Rules, JD Supra, 2021
  •  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency that enforces workplace safety and health rules. On May 19, OSHA issued two enforcement memos outlining its plans to inspect workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. These memos took effect on May 26.  As workplaces reopen, here is what employers can expect:, Author, What to Expect When You're Expecting OSHA to Visit Your Reopened Workplace, The Legal Intelligencer, 2020
  • In 2021, employers can expect a few significant developments from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)., Author, OSHA in 2021: Planning for the Year Ahead, The Legal Intelligencer, 2021
  • When an employee quits, the employer might dig through its files, dust off an old noncompete agreement, and see what rights (if any) it has under the agreement. Does this scenario sound familiar? Unfortunately, by the time an employee has quit, it’s too late to go back and correct an outdated or insufficient agreement. So, we recommend that each fall, employers look through their existing noncompete agreements (and other restrictive covenants, such as nonsolicitation agreements), and fix these eight common problems: Problem No. 1: Over the years, the employee signed multiple, conflicting agreements. Fix: When an employee signs a new agreement, it should clearly state that it replaces all previous agreements. Problem No. 2: The employee did not receive consideration—such as a new position, raise, bonus or promise of employment for a fixed time period—in exchange for signing the agreement. Fix: If an employer realizes that an employee may not have received adequate consideration, the employer can pay a bonus in exchange for signing a new agreement. By timing its review of restrictive covenants in the fall, an employer can prepare for employees to sign updated agreements when they receive year-end bonuses or raises. Problem No. 3: The agreement doesn’t detail what the employee is restricted from doing. Fix: We often see agreements that prohibit an employee from going to work for a “competitor.” The problem with this language is that it inevitably leads to a dispute about whether the new and old employers really compete with each other. If an employer is concerned about employees leaving for specific companies, those companies should be named in the agreement. The employer should add that the named companies are only examples, and that the employee is also prohibited from going to work for other companies doing business in a defined industry. Problem No. 4: The employee’s position, or the employer’s business, has changed since the agreement was signed. Fix: The employer should consider the restrictions in the original agreement, and confirm they still make sense. For example: since signing the agreement, does the employee still work in the same line of business, in the same geographic area? Does the employee still hold the same position, or have they changed responsibilities or gotten a promotion? What about the employer—has it moved, closed locations or opened new locations that now need to be protected? Has the employer entered new lines of business, or is it preparing to do so? Does it face any new competitive threats? Problem No. 5: The agreement limits an employee’s ability to compete, but it’s missing other restrictions. Fix: Employers often refer to all types of restrictive covenants as noncompete agreements. But a restriction on an employee’s ability to compete may not go far enough, so the employer should consider adding other restrictions. Nonsolicitation provisions can restrict employees from going after customers, other employees and referral sources. The employer can even require an employee to stay away from named customers and individuals, but should add that they are only examples. Employers should also consider including confidentiality provisions, (which do not need to be supported by consideration). Problem No. 6: The agreement doesn’t define what it means for an employee to “solicit.” Fix: To avoid any doubt, the agreement should restrict an employee from attempting to do business with any customer, other employee or referral source—even if the other person contacts the employee first. The agreement should also restrict the employee from engaging in solicitation indirectly, through another person. Problem No. 7: The agreement contains unenforceable restrictions. Fix: Pennsylvania courts enforce restrictive covenants, to the extent they are necessary to protect a legitimate business interest. The employer should think about whether it could explain to a future judge why it really needs the restrictions to protect its business. Does the employee’s position even require restrictive covenants? For instance, a sandwich chain infamously required its kitchen workers to sign noncompete agreements. If an agreement is needed, does it limit the employee’s activities for six months or one year?  Courts in Pennsylvania generally enforce these time periods with respect to covenants not to compete and solicit. Longer time periods have also been enforced, but they can be harder for employers to justify. Does the employer need to limit the employee’s activities worldwide or nationwide, or would a narrower geographic area be sufficient? An employer could consider restricting activities within particular states, counties or cities. Restrictions could also apply for a certain number of miles from locations of the employer and employee. We recommend that employers include a “blue pencil” provision, stating that if a judge finds the restrictions are too broad, their scope should be limited so that they can be enforced. Problem No. 8: The agreement doesn’t contain a mandatory “forum selection” provision identifying where any disputes over the agreement must be litigated. Fix: The employer should add this provision, and identify the state and federal court that are most convenient for the employer. For a court to enforce this provision, the selected location would need to be reasonably related to the employer or employee. By fixing these common problems, employers can put themselves in the best position to enforce noncompete agreements and other restrictive covenants in the future., Co-Author, Employers Should Fix These 8 Common Problems With Restrictive Covenants, The Legal Intelligencer, 2019
  • I moderated a program on "big data.", Moderator, I Like ‘Big Data’ and I Cannot Lie: How Numbers Can, and Should, Affect the Practice of Law in the Future, Allegheny County Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, 2018
  • Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees may take an unpaid, job-protected leave of absence for certain family and medical reasons. Employers often find it challenging to keep track of their obligations under the FMLA. This article will help employers to avoid common problems by reviewing 10 of the top dos and don'ts., Author, Tune Up FMLA Compliance With Top 10 Dos and Don'ts, The Legal Intelligencer, 2017

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Secretary - Allegheny County Bar Association - Young Lawyers Division, 2019
  • State of New Hampshire
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
  • State of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First and Third Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Council Member - Allegheny County Bar Association - Labor & Employment Law Section, 2021
  • Mushroom Family Learning Center - Board of Directors, 2021
  • Mushroom Family Learning Center - Board of Directors, 2020
  • Co-Chair - Education Committee - Allegheny County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, 2019
  • Mushroom Family Learning Center - Board of Directors, 2019
  • Secretary - Allegheny County Bar Association - Young Lawyers Division, 2018
  • Pittsburgh Young Professionals, 2018
  • Council - Allegheny County Bar Association - Young Lawyers Division, 2017
  • Member - Programming Subcommittee - Allegheny County Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, 2017
  • Bar Leadership Initiative - Allegheny County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, 2016
  • Co-Chair - Massachusetts Practice and Procedure Committee, Boston Bar Association, 2014
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Office Location for Brian D. Lipkin

401 Liberty Ave
22nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: 412-394-5456

Fax: 412-253-8894

Last Updated: 12/2/2021

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