Ryan is a forward-thinking trial attorney who successfully litigates and resolves high-profile cases. For over 25 years, business leaders and investors have sought Ryan’s advice because he has a deep understanding of his clients’ businesses, has the experience and legal skills to assess the problems, and uses practical ideas and clear communication to get them fixed. Sometimes the problem must be resolved in court, and when necessary, Ryan has the skills and experience to fight and win the case.
Ryan serves as a leader of the firm’s commercial litigation practice and has a formidable track record of success handling and winning high-stakes litigation matters for companies and individuals in the Austin area and beyond. Ryan has served as counsel for Fortune 50 companies, technology firms, private equity and VC investors, e-commerce, and software companies, in addition to representing multiple public institutions. He has successfully handled hotly contested matters in the state, federal, and appellate courts, in arbitration, and before regulatory bodies.
Ryan’s experience with business conflicts has led many companies and individuals to retain him for his strategic advice before initiating or responding to legal demands. As an advisor, Ryan counsels businesses, investors, non-profits, and professionals about corporate governance, fiduciary issues, compliance and management, media relations, legislative and campaign issues, and strategic planning.
He is active in legal and community activities and has led a number of local organizations. He has served as President or Chair of the Austin Federal Bar Association, the Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court, the Texas Bar Foundation District 9 Nominating Committee, the State Bar of Texas District 9 Grievance Committee, UT Law’s Class of 1995 Committee, the Stanford/Austin Alumni Club, the Stanford Office of Undergraduate Admission’s OVAL Project for Central Texas, and more. He is also heavily involved with the University of Texas Law School in teaching and alumni roles, political campaigns, and various Austin community groups.
Ryan has been on Thompson Reuters’ list of Super Lawyers since 2017 and acknowledged as a Texas Rising Star multiple times. He was selected to The Best Lawyers in America in 2024.
- State Bar of Texas, Member, Litigation Section; Member, Computer and Technology Section
- Federal Bar Association, Austin Chapter President, 2003-2004; Director 2000-2005
- Austin Bar Association, Co-Chair, Courthouse Subcommittee; Member, Litigation Section
- Texas Bar Foundation, Sustaining Life Fellow; Nominating Committee District 9, 2009-present; Co-Chair, 2021-present
- American Inns of Court, Lloyd Lochridge Inn, Founding Member and Master, 2009-present; President, 2022-23
- Austin Bar Foundation, Founding Life Fellow
- State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, District 9, 2014-17; Chair, 2016-2017
- Admissions Committee, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 2005-present
- Executive Committee, University of Texas Law Alumni Association, 2016-2020;
- UT Law Class of 1995 Standing Committee Co-Chair
- Teaching Assistant, UT Law School, Patent Advocacy (led by U.S. District Judge Alan Albright), Fall 2022-present
- Founder and Secretary, Community for Civil and Family Courthouse PAC (advocating in favor of 2015 bond issue to fund a new Travis County courthouse complex)
- Stanford/Austin Alumni Club, President 2000-03; Board of Directors, 2003-2013
- Stanford University, OVAL Alumni Volunteer Committee, Chair, Austin/San Antonio Region, 2013-2021
- Stanford Associates (Stanford Alumni honorary organization), elected 2012
- Numerous political campaigns and community projects
- Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, 2017-present
- Rising Stars, published by Thomson Reuters, 2004-2005, 2009
- Best Lawyers in America 2024, Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, and Litigation - Intellectual Property
Complex Commercial & Shareholder Litigation
- Lead trial and appellate counsel for a major regional energy authority in a nine-figure dispute over the termination of a power purchase agreement, resulting in a complete wins for the client in the Western District of Texas and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals;
- Successfully defended an Austin e-commerce company in litigation arising out of a major private equity investment, and subsequently served as outside general counsel on compliance and intellectual property matters;
- Represented a Fortune 50 technology company in a major federal lawsuit involving allegations of business interference, violations of software copyrights, and global antitrust violations, resulting in a complete win and permanent injunction against the opposing party;
- Represented a New York private equity firm in shareholder litigation involving a medical technology portfolio company;
- Ongoing representation of a major Austin-based technology and real estate franchise in shareholder and fiduciary matters;
- Defended a major Boston-based investment advisory firm against a nine-figure claim of fraud by a Texas state retirement system;
- Defended a cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund against various allegations of securities fraud and fiduciary violations;
- Ongoing representation of a number of Austin-based founders and venture capital firms in shareholder, fiduciary and corporate governance matters.
Intellectual Property & Trade Secrets
- Lead trial counsel for an Austin-based “unicorn” technology company against an ongoing challenge that its core intellectual property was improperly acquired;
- Lead trial and appellate counsel representing a leading biotech company in ongoing litigation over trade secrets and competition issues;
- Prosecuted claims of trademark infringement on behalf of a leading Austin-based beverage company against a competitor, resulting in a change to the competitor’s product and a favorable coexistence agreement;
- Represented the independent alumni association of a Big 12 school in bet-the-entity intellectual property litigation against its parent university, navigating a successful resolution and license agreement for the client.
Governmental Entities & Public Law
- Represented a Nobel Prize-winning scientist in a highly publicized dispute involving a state-funded research entity. The engagement included advising the client in parallel legislative, civil, and criminal investigations, and media strategy;
- Represented the flagship Texas public university system in a highly technical historical boundary dispute, reaching a successful resolution after years of litigation;
- Ongoing representation of a leading provider of election technology in various matters, including public information responses, competition, strategy, and crisis response;
- Represented a major corporation against allegations of Texas campaign finance violations;
- Formed and advised a high-profile advocacy group to promote higher education governance reform at Baylor University.
Impact Litigation & Pro Bono
- Currently representing a group of Llano County library patrons in their Constitutional challenge to the public library’s “book ban” effort to selectively remove certain books discussing race and LGBTQ issues from its collection; the case has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, NPR, the Texas Tribune and more;
- Challenged the constitutionality of voter-take-all laws in Texas, California, Massachusetts, which award a presidential candidate all electoral college vote for the state;
- Ryan regularly represents disadvantaged clients on a pro bono basis through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. In 2014, VLS recognized Ryan with a service award for his work with one of these clients, a disabled veteran evicted from Section 8 housing. He is also a regular advisor at the VLS Legal Services Clinic.