Ryan represents employers and executives in complex labor and employment litigation and provides strategic labor and employment advice.

Ryan’s labor and employment litigation experience is both broad and deep, and he is particularly skilled in defending employers against wage and hour class and collective actions. Ryan has been involved in over thirty-five of these cases, along with numerous other single plaintiff wage and hour matters, throughout the country. He has achieved success for his clients in many of these cases, including on the merits, in defeating class certification, and/or in successfully challenging plaintiffs’ damages expert/calculations.

Ryan’s litigation experience also includes whistleblower claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class actions, ERISA actions, single- and multi-plaintiff discrimination and harassment litigation, and prosecution and defense of breach of contract and restrictive covenant litigation.

Ryan also routinely represents management in complex traditional labor matters in collective bargaining, arbitrations, and before the NLRB. On the latter score, he represented one of the very first employers to undergo, and succeed in, a union representation election under the NLRB’s “quickie election” rules and has since successfully represented numerous other clients in union elections.

Ryan is admitted to practice in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the US District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia and the District of Colorado. He has litigated cases in the state and federal courts of Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Ryan also provides strategic advice to clients on a full range of labor and employment issues. He advises clients in the retail, hospitality, coal and other natural resources, power, health care, food processing, manufacturing, consumer products, and service industries. Ryan takes a pragmatic, results-oriented approach to advising his clients and understands that his advice is only valuable if it helps achieve the client’s business objectives.

Ryan is a frequent speaker and author on labor and employment matters, and he is a contributing author to the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives blog.

Relevant Experience

  • Wage & Hour Litigation: Litigated over thirty-five class and collective actions in federal and state courts under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws, as well as numerous single-plaintiff wage and hour matters.
  • Labor-Management Relations: Litigates and counsels management on a variety of traditional labor issues, including pre-campaign advice, unit hearings, employer campaigns and elections, contract negotiations, unfair labor practice issues, strike contingency planning, plant/site shutdowns and closings, and grievance arbitrations.
  • Other Complex Employment Law Litigation: Substantial experience prosecuting and defending lawsuits in state and federal court, including cases involving whistleblower claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act violations, ERISA claims, breach of contract and restrictive covenant issues, RICO claims, and single- and multi-plaintiff discrimination and harassment claims.
  • Strategic Labor & Employment Advice: Provides day to day advice to employers on virtually every facet of the employer-employee relationship, including labor strategy, covenants not to compete, employment contracts, corporate restructurings, reductions in force and outsourcings, WARN Act compliance, and wage and hour issues.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Provides strategic labor and employment advice in connection with dozens of corporate transactions each year.


  • Member, Virginia Bar Association, Labor Relations & Employment Section
  • Member, American Bar Association, Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee
  • Federal Bar Association, Richmond Chapter (Past Member, Board of Directors)
  • Past Member, President’s Council, Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers
  • Past Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Legal Information Network for Cancer (LINC)

Awards & Recognition

  • Listed as a Labor and Employment Star − South, Benchmark Litigation, 2019
  • Benchmark Litigation “Under 40 Hot List,” 2016-2019
  • Selected as a Rising Star for Employment and Labor Law, Virginia Super Lawyers magazine, 2010-2019. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Super Lawyers’ webpage.
  • Named among the Legal Elite for Labor/Employment Law, Virginia Business magazine, 2013, 2014, and 2015. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Virginia Business’s webpage.
  • E. Randolph Williams Award For Pro Bono Service, 2008-2009, 2014-2015