Ryan Caughey has consistently been recognized as one of America’s leading trial lawyers. He was named as one of a small handful of nationwide Plaintiff’s Trailblazers by the National Law Journal and was he honored one of 50 Texas Trailblazers by the Texas Lawyer. He was named by Best Lawyers in America as one of the nation’s top commercial litigators; he has perennially been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as one of the country’s top litigators under the age of 40; he was named by Lawdragon as one of the 500 leading Plaintiff’s Financial Lawyers; and he has perennially been recognized as one of Texas’s top 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40.
Ryan’s results speak for themselves. He has won multimillion-dollar jury verdicts in federal and state courts, and overall he has recovered more than $600 million his clients. Ryan has been equally successful on the defense side, defeating millions of dollars of claims. Ryan’s wins have been reported in The Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle, Texas Lawyer, Law360, and other leading publications.
Ryan’s expertise is wide-ranging. While Ryan regularly represents some of the world’s largest companies—such as Chevron, Walmart, Enterprise Products, and KBR—he also has won courtroom victories and valuable settlements for small businesses and individuals. Ryan typically represents his clients on a flat fee, contingency fee, or other alternative fee arrangement.
Ryan has particular experience in the areas of antitrust and competition, technology and trade secrets, construction, oil and gas, 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. Ryan also handles federal and state appeals.
Ryan 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 Ryan’s most significant matters include:
Antitrust and Competition
- The Dial Corp. et al v. News Corp. et al. Ryan 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.
- Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation. Ryan 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.
- Packaged Tuna Antitrust Litigation. Ryan represented Walmart in high-profile price-fixing litigation involving the packaged tuna industry. Ryan deposed key individuals, including Bumble Bee’s CEO, and then helped secure valuable settlements from all defendants.
- IQVIA, Inc. v. Veeva Systems. Ryan represents Veeva Systems, a publicly traded CRM and master data management technology company, in high-stakes, high-value 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
Technology and Trade Secrets
- Wickfire et al v. TriMax et al. Ryan 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. Ryan argued the appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the court partially affirmed the judgment.
- Woods v. CQuentia NGS et al. Ryan represents healthcare sales executive in this high-value 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. Ryan represented a 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. After a month-long trial, Ryan and his team secured more than $300 million—one of the largest shareholder oppression recoveries in U.S. history—for minority shareholders in Promega Corp., on claims related to control, governance, liquidity, and valuation. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge stated that she was “strongly leaning to find oppression here.” Ryan and his team successfully resolved the case, while the court was preparing its final judgment, with Promega acquiring our clients’ shares for a very substantial premium over the pre-suit redemption price and the valuation Promega argued at trial.
- KBR v. Chevedden. Ryan represented KBR, an engineering, procurement, and construction company, in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 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. Ryan 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. Ryan 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
- Westlake Chemical et al v. James Construction et al. Ryan 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, Ryan 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 North America v. Arrow Field Services et al. Ryan represents Linde as plaintiff in a $55 million dispute regarding construction of a North Dakota gas plant. The case is proceeding toward trial.
- Freeman Holdings, LLC v. ExxonMobil Corporation. Ryan 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. Ryan 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. Ryan defended pipeline company Enterprise Products against breach of contract claims involving natural gas liquid allocation. The case settled after the team obtained a pivotal appellate victory.
- Medical Card Services v. Equian et al. Ryan defended health insurance company Equian against breach of contract claims. The case settled favorably before trial.
- Weingarten Realty Investors v. Miller. Ryan defended real estate developer in federal court action regarding real estate guarantee. The matter settled favorably before trial.
- City of Houston v. Willis Towers Watson. Ryan 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. Ryan defended a major law firm in confidential professional negligence arbitration action. The matter settled favorably before hearing.
Other Commercial Litigation
- Abecassis et al v. Wyatt et al. Ryan 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. Ryan represented party in high-value divorce proceeding involving ownership and control of significant oil and gas assets. The case settled before trial.