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Thomas C. Ryan

Thomas Ryan is a trial lawyer who represents clients under scrutiny for allegations of misconduct that cover the gamut of enforcement actions brought by state, federal, and international agencies. As a former federal prosecutor focused on complex white collar criminal cases, Mr. Ryan brings the courtroom perspective to the defense of every single enforcement action from the outset. Mr. Ryan is also routinely entrusted with clients' most sensitive issues to conduct internal investigations, often involving whistleblowers or C-Suite implications. Most recently, Mr. Ryan was recognized in Chambers USA as well as Legal 500 for his work in this area relating to conducting cross-border investigations and defense of government enforcement actions.

Mr. Ryan complements his criminal practice with a complex commercial litigation practice, focused primarily on the energy and health care industries. In the energy space, he routinely represents upstream and midstream members of the unconventional gas industry active in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations lying under Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.

In the health care sector, Mr. Ryan is also an active member of the firm’s Health Care Fraud Task Force, a cross-practice collaboration between the firm’s internationally recognized health care and investigations, enforcement and white collar practice groups. As part of that group, Mr. Ryan actively defends a broad spectrum of health care providers in various forms of qui tam actions, involving allegations of violations of the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and Stark Law.

In addition to representing clients, Mr. Ryan also serves as an assistant general counsel to the firm, where, among other things, he serves on the firm’s ISO27001-certified Information Security Management Systems Committee, which coordinates the firm’s ongoing commitment to the highest global standards of data privacy, management, and security.

After dabbling in politics before law school, Mr. Ryan began his legal career with K&L Gates, where he gained broad international experience representing clients on a variety of commercial litigation matters, highlighted by a year-long secondment at an international construction client collaborating with an Italian joint-venture partner to design and construct an offshore gas-to-liquids facility in the Niger Delta, which provided a tremendous professional growth opportunity, as he was consistently called upon to provide sharp legal analysis under unrelenting time constraints.

After several successful years with the firm, Mr. Ryan served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the white collar crime section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Mr. Ryan tried numerous cases to jury verdict and argued a number of appeals before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Ryan focused his efforts on political and business corruption, ranging from the conviction of several elected officials in a voter-fraud conspiracy to a coal company executive involved in a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme. Having tried the full spectrum of federal crimes, including Titles 18, 21, 26, and 31 of the U.S. Code, Mr. Ryan returned to private practice at K&L Gates in 2014.

In 2015, Mr. Ryan had the privilege of being appointed Special Counsel to the Pennsylvania State Senate’s bipartisan Special Committee on Senate Address, which was constituted to consider the removal of then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a historical constitutional moment in the commonwealth’s history.

Further, in 2018, Mr. Ryan was entrusted by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia to represent the institution in coordinating its cooperation with multiple federal grand jury investigations and overlapping impeachment proceedings involving alleged misconduct of certain sitting members of the court.

Mr. Ryan also devotes a substantial amount of his time to many of the firm’s worthy pro bono efforts, including serving on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and also as an independent director on the board of PLEA Agency, Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to educating and improving the quality of life for individuals of all ages with behavioral or developmental disabilities.

  • Listed in Chambers USA for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations in Pennsylvania, 2020
  • Listed in Legal 500 for Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2019, 2020
  • 2016 Fast Tracker, Pittsburgh Business Times
  • WDPA Criminal Justice Act Panel member
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section member
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Federal Court Section member
  • Republican National Lawyers Association member
  • West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association Government Relations Committee member
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Strategic Planning Committee member
  • Independent Director of PLEA Agency, Inc.
  • The Federalist Society member
  • McCandless Township Republican Executive Committee member
  • Five-time recipient of U.S. Attorney’s Award for Exemplary Service (2008–2014)
  • 2012 March of Dimes West Virginia Chapter Ambassador Family of the Year
  • Thomas C. Ryan, et al., Wrote and moderated panel session CLE on “Houston We Have A Problem: Agents With Badges Are At The Front Door - The Basics for Companies in Responding to a Government Investigation.”, September 2020.
  • Thomas C. Ryan, Mark A. Rush, et al., “Traversing Borders - Coordinating National and International Investigations Initiated Internally and Externally by U.S./International Law Enforcement,” Under the Wire, February 13, 2020.
  • Thomas C. Ryan, et al., Considerations for What Your Lease Doesn’t Say: An Update on Implied Covenants in the Appalachian Basin, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation 40th Annual Institute, Washington, D.C., June 9–11, 2019.
  • Thomas C. Ryan et al., What You Don’t Know Can’t Hurt You, Right? Resolving the Inherent Tension Between the Yates Memo and the Collective Knowledge Doctrine in Environmental Criminal Enforcement Actions, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation 39th Annual Institute, Nashville, TN, June 17–19, 2018.
  • Thomas C. Ryan and Katherine Gafner, Minimizing the Intrusion of an Enforcement Action, In-House Counsel Presentation, October 6, 2017.
  • Thomas C. Ryan et al., Phases and Considerations of a Government Investigation, section presentation, “The Criminalization of Environmental Regulation: How to Respond and Isthere More to Come?,” K&L Gates CLE Program, Houston, TX, February 28, 2017.
  • Thomas C. Ryan et al., Corporate Responses to Investigative Requests by the Federal Government, Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, November 1, 2016.
  • Thomas C. Ryan, The Life Cycle of a Complex Federal Financial Crime: FinCEN Coming Full Circle?, West Virginia Bankers’ Association Annual BSA/AML School, October 20, 2016.
  • Thomas C. Ryan et al., Law Firm Beware: Environmental Due Diligence in Corporate Transactions, September 26, 2016, K&L Gates Firmwide training seminar.
  • Thomas C. Ryan, Federal Rule Changes Affecting e-Discovery Are Here - What are the Implications?; section presentation, “The Interplay of the Ethics Rules," K&L Gates CLE Program, Pittsburgh, PA, December 3, 2015.
  • Thomas C. Ryan and Nicholas J. Ranjan, Ethical Considerations Arising In Depositions, K&L Gates Associate Training Program, Pittsburgh, PA, September 3, 2015.
  • Thomas C. Ryan, Money Laundering Concerns in M&A Transactions, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Ethics CLE Program: “Mergers and Acquisitions: Developments and Practice Tips,” Pittsburgh, PA, June 18, 2015.
  • Thomas C. Ryan and Mark A. Rush, A Guide to the Development of a Cyber Data Breach Action Plan, K&L Gates CLE Program: Cybersecurity: Minimizing Risk and Managing Consequences, Pittsburgh, PA, December 9, 2014.
  • Thomas C. Ryan and Allison L. Burdette, Tracking the Trends in BSA Prosecutions and AML Regulatory Compliance, CNB Bank, Inc. Bank Secrecy Act employee training program, Berkeley Springs, WV, October 28, 2014.
  • Thomas C. Ryan, Bankruptcy Fraud and Criminal Prosecution, West Virginia State Bar, CLE Program, May 26, 2011.
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