William F. Ryan, Jr.

Partner, Co-Chair of Litigation Department
William F. Ryan, Jr.

William F. Ryan, Jr.

PARTNER , CO-CHAIR OF LITIGATION DEPARTMENT
wryan@wtplaw.com
BALTIMORE
T: 410.347.8741
F: 410. 223.4161



An experienced trial lawyer, Mr. Ryan is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an elective body limited to 1% of the trial lawyers in each of the states of the United States and the provinces of Canada, "who are outstanding and considered the best in a state or province."

During more than 25 years as an active trial attorney, Mr. Ryan has had a national commercial litigation practice, handling and taking to trial cases covering a broad range of business-related matters, including class actions, fiduciary duty, business disputes, corporate governance, complex accounting and auditing standards, and shareholder and partnership issues. In addition to being admitted to practice before the Maryland courts, he is admitted to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Fourth Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Ryan has represented clients in numerous state and federal courts across the United States, including courts in Alabama, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. A representative sampling of his cases of public record is available here.  An overview of the breadth of his practice follows:

Recognitions

  • AV Peer Review Rated: Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed as a "Local Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, 2009-2013
  • Listed in Baltimore's Legal Elite, 2010 - Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine
  • Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, published by Chambers and Partners, 2017
  • Listed in Maryland Super Lawyers 2007 - present, "Top 50/100 Maryland Lawyers," 2007 - 2013
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2005-present; Named 2014 Baltimore Litigation - Environmental "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Maryland's Leadership in Law Award, 2008 (The Daily Record)
  • 2011 Baltimore County Good Scout Award, Baltimore Area Council of Boy Scouts
 

Memberships & Activities

  • Fellow:  American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Chair:  Litigation Department
  • Former Member: Advisory Board of the Advanced Real Estate Litigation Strategies Institute, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Best Lawyers Designation
  • Benchmark Litigation Designation
  • Chambers and Partners Designation

Resources

Business Litigation

  • Obtained seven-figure result against national franchise chain in breach of contract claim
  • Defended national bank in alleged defamation and breach of contract claims
  • Represented hedge fund/financial advisory firm in business tort and breach of contract claims
 

Securities Litigation

  • Defense of individual and class action securities fraud claims
  • Defended national railroad transportation company, and obtained defense verdict, in stock appraisal action by minority shareholders of another railroad company following merger of those two companies
 

Professional Liability, including Accounting Malpractice

  • Prosecuted professional liability claims in Mississippi Federal Court against national hospital management company on behalf of Mississippi community hospital/health system
  • Defense of estate tax planning and other legal malpractice actions
  • Represented court-appointed trustee in adversary proceeding against underwriters and bondholders arising out of $200 million bond offering
  • Defense and prosecution of accounting firms regarding auditing, accounting and business valuation and purchase matters
  • Obtained seven-figure result for corporate plaintiff in legal malpractice claim arising out of antitrust counseling and advice
  • Defended and obtained defense jury verdict for orthopedic surgeon after six-week medical malpractice trial
 

Director & Officer Litigation

  • Prosecuted claims in Alabama state court against corporate officers, directors and accounting firm on behalf of court-appointed trustee
  • Prosecuted breach of fiduciary duty claims in Virginia state court against former directors of international consulting firm
  • Defended officers of development stage company in Delaware Chancery Court against claims of improper use of proceeds from IPO
 

Real Estate Litigation

  • Defended Long Island, New York, commercial property owner in civil actions by federal government and the State of New York arising out of environmental contamination
  • Represented international real estate developer in litigation concerning various construction projects in New York City, London and Barcelona, Spain
  • Represented property manager in winning injunctive proceedings regarding various commercial real estate properties in Washington D.C. metropolitan region
 

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Represented New York stock exchange restaurant chain accused of trademark and trade dress infringement and unfair trade practices
  • Represented software developer in patent infringement litigation regarding pre-coding scheme for transmitting data over intersymbol-interference channels
  • Represented software users against copyright infringement claims
 

Class Actions

  • Currently defending class action brought in Maryland state court against national grocery store chain
  • Currently defending class action brought in Virginia federal court against credit counseling firm
  • Lead trial counsel and obtained defense verdict for City of Baltimore and Housing Authority of Baltimore City in public housing class action brought by ACLU in Maryland federal court
  • Represented national telecommunications carrier in consumer class action
  • Defended, and obtained dismissal of, consumer class action in New Jersey federal court alleging violations of federal Fair Credit Reporting Act against multi-state shoe retailer
  • Defended, and won by summary judgment, class action by 7,800 retired maritime officers
 

Special Counsel Services

  • Represented St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers of New York Litigation Trust in prosecuting professional malpractice and related claims against attorneys and management consultants in New York state and federal courts
  • Represented various court-appointed trustees in prosecuting claims involving bankrupt businesses
 

Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Participated in numerous mediations and mandatory arbitrations involving business litigation and professional liability matters
 

Environmental

  • Represented petroleum companies and commercial property owners in environmental contamination claims
  • Represented Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and obtained defense jury verdict for multiple nuisance claims arising out of sewage sludge facility
 

Products Liability & Toxic Exposure

  • Defended and obtained judgments in favor of national manufacturer in product liability lawsuits seeking damages for multiple chemical sensitivity and other injuries allegedly caused by manufacturer's products
  • Defended, and won by summary judgment, declaratory judgment action by a chemical manufacturer seeking insurance coverage for $48 million judgment in underlying toxic tort suit
 

Other

  • Defended and won state anti-trust and injunction claims against national trade association accused of restraining commerce
  • Defended limited partner of commercial real estate development project against breach of contract claims
  • Defended and obtained defense verdict in defamation action against child psychologist
PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS

"Director and Officer Duties and Insurance Coverage" Association of Corporate Counsel (2016)

"Private Company and Non-Profit D&O Claims Activity," Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) D&O Symposium, Marriott Marquis, New York, New York, February 9, 2012

"Personal Liability for Directors and Officers: The Next Wave in 'Economic Meltdown' Litigation," 2010 Spring Meeting of International Law Section, American Bar Association, New York, New York

"Know the Mine Field: Risks for Holders of Distressed Debt," Fourth Annual Global Forum on Investing in Distressed Debt, March 30-31, 2009, Los Angeles, California

NEWS

57 WTP Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2019, Four Named "Lawyer of the Year"

57 lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019 (copyright 2018 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.). The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington offices. Client comments are posted on the U.S. News & Best Lawyers web site.

59 WTP Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2018, Two Named "Lawyer of the Year"

59 lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 (copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.). The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Maryland, Washington and Virginia offices. Client comments are posted on the U.S. News & Best Lawyers web site, at bestlawfirms.usnews.com.

In addition, two lawyers were selected as “Lawyer of the Year” for their particular areas of practice.


Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and 29 Lawyers Honored by Chambers and Partners

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that Chambers and Partners has once again ranked the firm highly in its 2017 list of leading firms and business lawyers. This year’s recognition includes a record 29 attorneys in 4 states, the District of Columbia and Afghanistan. 


59 Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2017, Eight Named as "Lawyers of the Year"

Fifty-nine lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 (copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.). The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Maryland, Washington and Virginia offices.

In addition, eight lawyers were selected as “Lawyers of the Year” for their particular areas of practice. 


Benchmark Litigation Names Whiteford, Taylor & Preston 2016 Maryland Law Firm of the Year

Benchmark Litigation has named Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP “Maryland Law Firm of the Year” for 2016. The award was presented February 12 at Benchmark Litigation’s annual U.S. awards ceremony in New York City.  In published commentary, Benchmark Litigation describes Whiteford, Taylor & Preston as “simply top-notch” and states that “[c]lients flock to the firm for its ‘excellence in litigation skills and experience.’” 


Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Recognized in 2016 Benchmark Litigation

The 2016 edition of Benchmark Litigation has ranked Whiteford, Taylor & Preston as “Highly Recommended” in Maryland.  The ranking is the publication’s top rating and identifies those firms it deems “dominant” in the state.

In addition, Benchmark Litigation named eight lawyers from the firm as Maryland “Local litigation Stars.”   The selected lawyers represent the broad diversity of the firm’s litigation experience, from sophisticated business litigation to bankruptcy to products liability.


63 Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Four Named as "Lawyers of the Year"

Sixty-three lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 (copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.). The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Maryland, Washington and Virginia offices.

In addition, four lawyers were selected as “Lawyers of the Year” in the Baltimore region for their particular areas of practice.


Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and Six Partners Named as "IP Stars" by Managing Intellectual Property

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that Managing Intellectual Property has given the firm’s Maryland Intellectual Property practice its highest rating and has singled out six partners for individual recognition in Maryland. 

In their commentary, the editors noted that the firm is “highly respected” and that the IP lawyers in the group “handle a split of contentious and non-contentious matters crossing over patent trademark and copyright matters.”


Fifty-Four Whiteford Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Maryland

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that 54 of its Maryland-based attorneys are listed among the 2014 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

The firm is particularly proud of the young lawyers who are recognized as “Rising Stars” and the three partners who received special recognition -- Edward Buxbaum and Dwight Stone in the Top 100, and Mary Claire Chesshire in the Top 50 Women.


Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Recognized in 2014 Benchmark Litigation and Benchmark Plaintiff

The 2014 editions of Benchmark Litigation and Benchmark Plaintiffs have ranked Whiteford, Taylor & Preston in the top tier of litigation firms in Maryland.

Eight lawyers from the firm were named as Maryland “Local litigation Stars” in Benchmark Litigation, and three of them were also named in Benchmark Plaintiffs. In addition, Daniel Griffith, the head of the firm’s Wilmington office, continued to be listed as a “Future Star” in the rankings for Delaware.


61 Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America; Nine Named as "Lawyers of the Year"

Sixty-one lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 (copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.). The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Maryland, Washington and Virginia offices, including the firm's new Roanoke office.

In addition, nine lawyers were selected as “Lawyers of the Year” in their jurisdictions and areas of practice.


BearingPoint, Inc. Director and Officer Litigation Settlement Announced

DALLAS, Mar 21, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- John DeGroote Services, LLC, as Liquidating Trustee to the BearingPoint, Inc. Liquidating Trust, announced today that the Trust settled its lawsuit against former Directors and the former Chief Executive Officer of BearingPoint, Inc. Under the settlement the Trust will receive $55 million, with no admission of liability and a release of claims by all parties.


Sixty-Four Whiteford Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that 64 of its attorneys are listed among the 2013 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in three states.

The firm is particularly proud of the young lawyers who are recognized as “Rising Stars”; the four partners who are listed in the Top 100 in Maryland – Edward Buxbaum, Edwin Fee, William Ryan, and Dwight Stone; and the 16 who are named for the first time this year.


60 Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America Five Named as "Lawyers of the Year"

Sixty lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 (copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.).

This represents an increase of seven over last year.  The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Maryland, Washington and Virginia offices.

In addition, five lawyers were selected as “Lawyers of the Year” in their jurisdictions and areas of practice.


Ryan, Nussbaum and Hroblak Listed in Benchmark Plaintiff 2013

Legal Media Group, publisher of the well-known guide Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys, which focuses exclusively on litigation in the United States, also researches and ranks the nation’s top plaintiff lawyers in their Benchmark Plaintiff guide. 


Forty-Six Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Maryland; Five in Maryland Listed in “Top 100”

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that 46 of its attorneys are listed among the 2012 Maryland Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

The firm is particularly proud of the five who are listed in the Top 100 in Maryland – Edward Buxbaum, Edwin Fee, Paul Nussbaum, William Ryan, and Dwight Stone. Selection of the Top 100 lawyers in a jurisdiction is strictly based on the highest scores in the Super Lawyer judging process, and Whiteford is one of the two firms with the most names on the list.

Hroblak, Nussbaum & Ryan Listed in Inaugural Edition of Benchmark Plaintiff 2012

For the first time, Legal Media Group, publisher of the well-known guide Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys, which focuses exclusively on litigation in the United States, has researched and ranked the nation’s top plaintiff lawyers in their new Benchmark Plaintiff guide. 


Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and 11 Attorneys Listed in Benchmark Litigation 2012

The 2012 edition of Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys has once again ranked Whiteford, Taylor & Preston in the top tier of litigation firms in Maryland, with more ranked lawyers than any other firm on the list.

Ten lawyers from the firm were named as “Local litigation stars” and one as a “Future Star.”

Only seven firms in Maryland received the highest ranking of “Highly recommended,” which indicates those firms deemed “dominant” in the state.


Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and 12 Attorneys Listed in Benchmark Litigation 2010

Ten lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston in Maryland and two in Delaware have been selected by Euromoney's Legal Media Group as "leading litigation attorneys." Their names appeared in the 2010 edition of the guide Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys. This is an increase of six over last year. In Maryland, the firm has substantially more ranked lawyers than any other firm on the list.


Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and Litigators Among Highly Recommended Firms and Litigation Stars in Benchmark Litigation 2009

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP (WTP) is pleased to announce that the firm, having one of the largest litigation departments in Maryland, has been "highly recommended" in the Benchmark Litigation 2009 listing of Maryland litigation firms. WTP attorneys Harry S. Johnson (Products Liability), Paul M. Nussbaum (Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring), William F. Ryan, Jr. (Commercial), and Steven E. Tiller (Technology and Intellectual Property) were listed as "local litigation stars," and Alexander W.


Anne T. Brennan and William F. Ryan, Jr Named Leadership in Law Winners

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is delighted to announce that Anne T. Brennan and William F. Ryan, Jr., have been selected as winners in The Daily Record’s annual Leadership in Law program.  Brennan, a partner and litigator, is the former Managing Partner of the firm’s Towson office, and joined the firm in 1984.  Ryan, also a partner and litigator, is the chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and joined the firm in 1980. 


Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Announces Management Changes

As it celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP is delighted to announce its new leadership team.

Having completed four terms as Managing Partner, Albert J. Mezzanotte, Jr. will serve one more year as the Firm's Managing Partner and transition those duties to Martin T. Fletcher. Mr. Fletcher is a present member of the firm's Management Committee and after serving a one year term as Managing Partner Elect will then commence a three year term as Managing Partner.

Nussbaum and Ryan Present at Global Distressed Debt West Coast Investor Forum

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston (WTP) attorneys, Paul M. Nussbaum and William F. Ryan, Jr., presented on Investing In Distressed Securities During Troubled Economic Times at the International Quality and Productivity Center's (IPCQ) Global Distressed Debt West Coast Investor Forum, Los Angeles, California, on March 31-April 2, 2008.


Nussbaum and Ryan Speak at Global Distressed Debt Investor Forum

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston (WTP) attorneys, Paul M. Nussbaum and William F. Ryan, Jr., recently spoke at the International Quality and Productivity Center’s (IPCQ) Global Distressed Debt Investor Forum – Investment Strategies, Risk Assessment and Turnaround Management which took place at The Westin New York at Times Square on September 17-19, 2007. 


36 Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Attorneys Named Maryland Super Lawyers

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP (WTP) is pleased to announce that 36 WTP attorneys have been named in Maryland Super Lawyers publication. Maryland Super Lawyers will appear in a special advertising section in the January 2007 issue of Baltimore Magazine and in the Maryland Super Lawyers magazine.


6 Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Attorneys Named Among Baltimore's Legal Elite

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP (WTP) is delighted to announce that Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine (SmartCEO) has selected six WTP attorneys for its list of Baltimore's Legal Elite.   

"We're honored that our attorneys have been recognized for their skills, knowledge, and client dedication.  While we've always known how fortunate we are to have them as part of the Whiteford family, we're very pleased to have this type of outside recognition," explained Martin Fletcher, a member of the firm's Management Committee.


Whiteford Wins Nationally Significant Housing Case for the City of Baltimore and Its Citizens

After a decade of protracted litigation culminating in a month-long federal court trial, the United States District Court yesterday ruled completely in favor of the City of Baltimore and its housing authority. In rejecting the class action claims brought by the ACLU, the Court found that "the Baltimore City leadership of the post-Brown era deserves accolades, not criticism."