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Thomas C. Ryan

Partner
+1.412.355.8335
Fax +1.412.355.6501
Mr. Ryan is a trial lawyer focused on defending, conducting internal investigations for, and counseling clients under scrutiny for allegations that cover the gamut of enforcement actions brought by state, federal and international agencies that include the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Antitrust, Consumer Protection, and Medicaid Fraud Control Units. As a former federal prosecutor focused on complex white collar criminal cases, Mr. Ryan brings the courtroom perspective from the outset of the defense of every single enforcement action. Mr. Ryan is also routinely entrusted with clients’ most sensitive issues to conduct internal investigations, often involving whistleblowers or C-Suite implications, because of his ability to efficiently and effectively assess criminal, regulatory, and civil exposure under various federal and state statutes, such as the False Claims Act and Title VII. Finally, Mr. Ryan proactively assists client mitigate risk through counseling on a wide variety of compliance issues, including providing training, policy updates, and compliance program testing.

Mr. Ryan complements his criminal practice with a complex commercial litigation practice, focused primarily on the energy and construction industries. 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. Mr. Ryan's broad representative civil litigation experience includes litigating a $20 million defective engineering and construction claim involving one of the industry’s most expansive retaining walls, defending a series of nuisance claims, preparing a coordinated response to potential labor unrest, and providing counsel on insurance coverage issues.

In addition to representing clients, Mr. Ryan also serves as an Assistant General Counsel to the firm, advising the firm’s nearly 2,000 lawyers and its staff across the globe on the entire spectrum of legal, commercial, and ethical issues that arise within the practice of law in the 21st century.

Professional Background

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, including handling insurance coverage disputes arising with insurers from both the Bermuda and London excess insurer markets, and representing clients with issues involving contract negotiations and claims handling on construction projects in South America and Africa. Of note, Mr. Ryan completed a yearlong secondment at an international construction client collaborating with an Italian joint-venture partner to design and construct an off-shore gas-to-liquids facility in the Niger Delta, which provided a tremendous professional growth opportunity because he was consistently called upon to provide sharp legal analysis under unrelenting time constraints.

After several successful years with the firm, Mr. Ryan returned to his native West Virginia and served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the white collar crime section for the United States 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, ranging from 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.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • 2016 Fast Tracker, Pittsburgh Business Times
  • Firm representative to the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (“WVONGA”), the Eastern Mineral Law Foundation (“EMLF”) and the Marcellus Shale Coalition (“MSC”)
  • 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

Speaking Engagements

  • Thomas 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 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.
  • Joseph L. Luciana and Thomas C. Ryan, Insurance Coverage for Construction Defect Claims: The Aftermath of Kvaerner, Allegheny County Bar Association, CLE Program, December 7, 2007.
  • Neal R. Brendel, Thomas C. Ryan and Michael G. Zanic, Accessing Historical Insurance Policies for Environmental Liabilities: An Overview of Competing Policyholder’s Rights and Basic Coverage Issues, Environmental Business Risks and Insurance Solutions, May 25, 2005, panel presentation, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Edward W. Diggs and Thomas C. Ryan, Making All Four Corners Count: Drafting Contract Terms That Stick to the Teflon A/E, 2004 Construction Superconference, December 9, 2004, panel presentation, San Francisco, CA.
Government Enforcement Experience
  • Obtained declination for a midstream gas company following yearlong investigation by EPA and DOJ involving allegations of criminal Clean Air Act violations.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company cooperating with multiple simultaneous federal grand jury investigations focused on violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and other international fraud and anti-money laundering (“AML”) related allegations.
  • Represented a multinational energy company in an SEC investigation focused on potential securities fraud violations by a related entity.
  • Represented members of the oil and gas industry responding to inquiries initiated by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Antitrust Section and Bureau of Consumer Protection.
  • Defended high net worth individual charged in multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

Internal Investigation-Related Experience

  •  Represented a multinational company in assisting DOJ and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) investigate and prosecute a former employee who embezzled nearly $15 million.
  • Investigated allegations of systemic sexual harassment by a mid-level manager of an energy client.
  • Investigated allegations of a multimillion-dollar fraud related to an international engineering firm’s compliance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) as it related to a financial position taken on certain construction claims.
  • Conducted an investigation into allegations of employee sexual misconduct on behalf of a nonprofit client who services the adult mentally handicapped community.
  • Advised a nonprofit that provides mental health services to youth in Western Pennsylvania in responding to inquiries regarding alleged fraudulent billing practices initiated by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”).

Energy and Construction Practice Experience

  • Represented a midstream company in pursuing a $20 million claim for defective design and construction of one of the largest retaining walls in the eastern United States.
  • Represented a pipeline company in dismissing mechanic’s lien filed by terminated contractor on $10 million pipeline project.
  • Represented a natural spring water production company at trial involving a quiet title and ejectment action in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
  • Defended a gas fractionation facility in a series of nuisance claims.
  • Yearlong secondment as project lawyer for international joint venture building a gas-to-liquid facility in the Niger Delta region.

Other Representative Experience

  • Appointed as Special Counsel to the bipartisan Pennsylvania State Senate’s bipartisan Special Committee on Senate Address to consider the removal of then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
  • Represented West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals candidate in the appeal of two rulings by the West Virginia State Election Commission to provide public campaign financing to candidates for the Supreme Court in the May 2016 election.
  • Prosecuted a financial institution through the use of a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) for failing to file Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”) and Currency Transaction Reports (“CTRs”) and other willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and coordinated settlement with DOJ Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (“AFMLS”), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). United States v. Bank of Mingo, No. 2:15-00129.
  • Prosecuted one of the only “internal cyber attack” cases involving a former information technology network engineer for an exploration and production company, who was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1030, the federal cybercrime statute, for crashing the company’s data storage area network server and backup systems after he learned of his imminent termination. United States v. Ricky Joe Mitchell, No. 2:13-00201.
  • Prosecuted a criminal trademark infringement case involving an equipment repair shop owner, who was convicted of an intellectual property crime under 18 U.S.C. § 2320 arising out of the misuse of counterfeit labels affixed to refurbished electrical breakers, which had originally been manufactured specifically to heightened standards for use in the coal mining industry. United States v. Freddie Dean Ball, Jr., No. 2:13-00212.