Ryan Caughey litigates a wide variety of complex, high-stakes commercial disputes for plaintiffs and defendants in federal courts, state courts, and arbitrations across the country. While Mr. Caughey regularly represents some of the world’s largest companies—such as Chevron and Walmart —he also has won courtroom victories and valuable settlements for small businesses and individuals. Mr. Caughey typically represents his clients on a flat fee, contingency fee, or other alternative fee arrangement.
Mr. Caughey has particular experience in the areas of antitrust and competition, life sciences, oil and gas, technology and trade secrets, environmental, and business and partnership disputes. He is regularly called on to address complex issues of antitrust liability and damages, trade secrets, and corporate governance. Mr. Caughey also handles federal and state appeals.
Mr. Caughey joined Susman Godfrey after starting his career at Gibson Dunn in Washington, D.C. and clerking for the Honorable Timothy Tymkovich on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Mr. Caughey received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Some of Mr. Caughey’s most significant matters include:
Antitrust and Competition
- The Dial Corp. et al v. News Corp. et al. Caughey represented a certified class of consumer packaged goods manufacturers, including Dial Corporation and Kraft Heinz Foods, pursuing monopolization claims against News Corporation and affiliated entities. The class alleged that News Corp. had overcharged them for advertising. Mr. Caughey and his team secured class certification, defeated a Rule 23(f) appeal, defeated summary judgment. The case settled on the first day of trial producing a net recovery to class members of $187.5 million.
- IQVIA, Inc. v. Veeva Systems. Caughey represents Veeva Systems, a CRM and master data management technology company, in federal court antitrust litigation against healthcare data and information technology provider IQVIA, Inc. The case involves antitrust issues relating to master data management and alleged trade secrets.
- Packaged Tuna Antitrust Litigation. Caughey represented the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart, as a plaintiff in high-profile federal court price-fixing litigation involving the packaged tuna industry. He helped secure settlements with Starkist, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea.
- Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation. Caughey is representing Walmart as a plaintiff in high-stakes federal court price-fixing litigation involving the broiler chicken industry. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Technology and Trade Secrets
- Wickfire et al v. TriMax et al. Caughey represents tech startup Wickfire in case against competitor, involving Lanham Act, contractual interference, and conspiracy claims. After a federal court jury trial, the team secured a total victory. The jury awarded $2.3 million in damages to Wickfire and found that the defendant should take nothing on its $22 million counterclaims. Mr. Caughey is currently representing Wickfire on appeal. Net award to client will not be determined until after the appeal concludes.
- Woods v. CQuentia NGS et al. Caughey represents healthcare sales executive in state-court lawsuit against genetic testing and diagnostics company CQuentia NGS, its CEO, and related entities. This matter involves contract, fiduciary duty, fraud, and trade secret claims.
- Trade Secret Litigation. Caughey represented major oil and gas company in litigation against former contractor who misappropriated confidential documents. The case settled after a federal court evidentiary hearing where the team obtained a temporary restraining order and injunction.
Corporate Governance and Securities
- Brand et al v. Promega et al. Caughey represents major shareholder plaintiffs in shareholder oppression lawsuit involving complex corporate governance issues.
- KBR v. Chevedden. Caughey represented KBR, an engineering, procurement, and construction company, in federal Fifth Circuit appeal regarding exclusion of shareholder proposal from proxy statement, pursuant to Rule 14a-8. The Fifth Circuit handed down a total victory for KBR, affirming the trial court’s order excluding the shareholder proposal.
- Apache v. Chevedden. Caughey represented Apache in litigation regarding exclusion of shareholder proposal. The team prevailed at the trial level.
Environmental and Regulatory
- Louisiana Department of Natural Resources et al v. Chevron et al. Caughey is defending Chevron in a series of lawsuits filed by the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, certain Louisiana parishes, and certain individual landowners seeking damages to Louisiana’s coastal zone allegedly caused by historical dredging and drilling operations. The cases are pending in various Louisiana state and federal courts.
Business and Energy Litigation
- Freeman Holdings, LLC v. ExxonMobil Corporation. Caughey represented plaintiff real estate developer in a breach of contract action against Exxon, involving a right of first refusal to purchase real estate. The matter settled favorably after the team defeated summary judgment.
- Bohan et al Austin Foam Products et al. Mr. Caughey defended packaging company in complex cross-border partnership dispute involving claims of fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. The matter settled favorably before trial.
- Enterprise Products v. TOC Rocky-Mountain, Inc. Caughey defended pipeline company Enterprise Products against breach of contract claims involving natural gas liquid allocation. The case settled after the team obtained an appellate victory.
- Medical Card Services v. Equian et al. Caughey defended health insurance company Equian against breach of contract claims. The case settled favorably before trial.
- Weingarten Realty Investors v. Miller. Caughey defended real estate developer in federal court action regarding real estate guarantee. The matter settled before trial.
- City of Houston v. Willis Towers Watson. Caughey represented the City of Houston in complex, federal-court professional liability dispute against its pension actuarial firm, Willis Towers Watson. After summary judgment was fully briefed, the team secured a favorable settlement for the City of Houston, which resulted in a net payment to the City of approximately $29 million.
- Confidential Law Firm Representation. Caughey defended major law firm in confidential professional negligence arbitration action.
- Westlake Chemical et al v. James Construction et al. Caughey represents Westlake Chemical in a complex, multi-party construction dispute. After a three-week trial, the jury awarded Westlake approximately $4.5 million in damages and fees. Before trial, Mr. Caughey and his team defeated mandamus petitions to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court and secured several pretrial settlements. Net award to client will not be determined until after the appeal concludes.
- Linde Engineering v. Crestwood Midstream. Caughey is co-lead counsel to Houston-based Linde Engineering as plaintiff in a $55+-million construction dispute with Crestwood Midstream. The Texas-state-court dispute involves Crestwood’s refusal to pay Linde’s invoices in connection with construction of a $100+ million gas plant in North Dakota.
Other Commercial Litigation
- Abecassis et al v. Wyatt et al. Caughey defended Vitol, a major oil trading firm, in case involving antiterrorism act. The team obtained dismissal of all claims brought against Vitol.
- Confidential Divorce Action. Mr. Caughey represented party in high-value divorce proceeding involving ownership and control of significant oil and gas assets. The case settled before trial.