Ryan represents employers and executives in complex labor and employment litigation and provides strategic labor and employment advice, with a particular emphasis on wage and hour litigation and labor law matters.

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 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 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class actions, ERISA actions, single- and multi-plaintiff discrimination litigation, prosecution and defense of breach of contract and restrictive covenant litigation, and the representation of management in complex traditional labor matters before the NLRB and in arbitrations. 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 California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, 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 hospitality, coal and other natural resources, power, health care, food processing, manufacturing, consumer products, service, and retail industries. Ryan takes a pragmatic, results-oriented approach to advising his clients. He understands that in any advice situation, the legal answer is only half of the equation, and his advice is only valuable if it can be used to achieve the client’s business objectives. That approach requires a thorough understanding of a client’s business and culture and an eye for creative solutions to complex legal problems – skills that Ryan brings to bear in every advice matter.

To complement his practice, Ryan serves on the Board of Directors for the Richmond Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and he is a member of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Fair Labor Standards Legislation. 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 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. Successfully represented one of the very first employers to undergo a union representation election under the NLRB’s new “quickie election” rules.
  • Other Complex Employment Law Litigation: Substantial experience prosecuting and defending lawsuits in state and federal court, including cases involving Fair Credit Reporting Act violations, ERISA claims, breach of contract and restrictive covenant issues, RICO claims, and single- and multi-plaintiff discrimination claims.
  • Strategic Labor & Employment Advice: Provides day to day advice to employers on virtually every facet of the employer-employee relationship, including covenants not to compete, employment contracts, corporate restructurings, reductions in force, and outsourcings, WARN Act compliance, wage and hour issues, discrimination and harassment matters, and disability accommodation situations.
  • 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
  • Board of Directors, Federal Bar Association, Richmond Chapter
  • 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, Virginia, Benchmark Litigation, 2019
  • Benchmark Litigation “Under 40 Hot List,” 2016-2018
  • Listed as a Future Star, Virginia, Benchmark Litigation, 2017-2018
  • Selected as a Rising Star for Employment and Labor Law, Virginia Super Lawyers magazine, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. 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