Ryan Caughey is a first-chair trial lawyer who has consistently been recognized as one of America’s leading litigators. In 2023, National Law Journal recognized him as a Rising Star of the Plaintiff’s Bar as part of their Elite Trial Lawyers series. He has also been recognized as a Plaintiffs Lawyer Trailblazer by the National Law Journal and one of 50 Texas Trailblazers by the Texas Lawyer. He has been named by Best Lawyers in America as one of the nation’s top commercial litigators, and he is included on Lawdragon’s inaugural list of America’s Top 500 Litigators. He has also been perennially named one of the country’s top litigators under the age of 40 (2018 – 2022; Benchmark Litigation) and one of America’s 500 leading Plaintiff’s Financial Lawyers (2020 – 2022; Lawdragon).
Ryan’s results speak for themselves. Last year, Ryan was the co-lead trial lawyer in a 5-week jury trial that resulted in a more-than $42 million judgment for his client Linde Engineering North America, in addition to more than $22 million in pretrial recoveries. Ryan’s team also defeated more than $40 million in counterclaims.
That was just one of Ryan’s multimillion-dollar jury verdicts, and in total he has recovered more than $800 million for his clients. On the defense side, Ryan has represented clients facing billions of dollars of potential exposure. His wins have been reported in The Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle, Texas Lawyer, Law360, and other leading publications.
Ryan’s client list is wide-ranging. While he regularly represents some of the world’s largest companies—such as Chevron and Walmart—he has also won courtroom victories and valuable settlements for small businesses and individuals. Ryan typically represents his clients on a fixed 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. 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. Ryan received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University.
Ryan’s representative cases include:
Antitrust and Competition
- The Dial Corp. et al v. News Corp. et al. 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. Ryan 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. Serving as counsel to 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. Ryan and his team have secured several major settlements for Walmart.
- Packaged Tuna Antitrust Litigation. Secured valuable settlements for Walmart in high-profile price-fixing litigation involving the packaged tuna industry.
- IQVIA, Inc. v. Veeva Systems. Serving as counsel to Veeva Systems, a publicly traded CRM and master data management technology company, in high-stakes, high-value federal court antitrust and trade secrets litigation against healthcare data and information technology provider IQVIA, Inc.
Technology and Trade Secrets
- Wickfire et al v. TriMax et al. Won a multimillion-dollar jury verdict for tech startup Wickfire in case against a competitor in a matter involving Lanham Act, contractual interference, and conspiracy claims. The jury also 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, which partially affirmed the judgment.
- Trade Secret Litigation. 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.
- Paltalk v. Cisco Systems. Representing Paltalk as plaintiff in a patent infringement lawsuit involving Webex and conferencing features.
- In re Astroworld Litigation. Defending Live Nation in connection with the hundreds of lawsuits arising out of injuries suffered at the 2021 Astroworld Festival in Houston.
Corporate Governance and Securities
- Brand et al v. Promega et al. 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 month-long 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 his clients’ shares for a very substantial premium over the pre-suit redemption price and the valuation Promega argued at trial.
- KBR v. Chevedden. Represented KBR, an engineering, procurement, and construction company, in a 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. Represented Apache in litigation regarding exclusion of shareholder proposal. Apache prevailed at the trial level.
Environmental and Regulatory
- Louisiana Department of Natural Resources et al v. Chevron et al. 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
- Linde Engineering North America v. Arrow Field Services et al. Secured a $42 million judgment as co-lead trial lawyer to Linde Engineering in a construction dispute regarding a North Dakota gas plant. The judgment followed a five-week jury trial and was in addition to more than $20 million in pretrial recoveries.
- Westlake Chemical et al v. James Construction et al. Represented Westlake Chemical in a complex, multi-party construction dispute. After a three-week trial, the jury awarded Westlake approximately $4.5 million. Before trial, Ryan and his team defeated mandamus petitions to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court and secured several pretrial settlements.
- Freeman Holdings, LLC v. ExxonMobil Corporation. Secured favorable settlement for 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 after Ryan’s team defeated summary judgment.
- Bohan et al v. Austin Foam Products et al. Successfully defended a 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.
- YSM-Ponderosa v. World Market of Texas. Represents World Market in connection with a real estate dispute.
- Enterprise Products v. TOC Rocky-Mountain, Inc. 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. Defended health insurance company, Equian, against breach of contract claims. The case settled favorably before trial.
- Weingarten Realty Investors v. Miller. Defended a real estate developer in federal court action regarding real estate guarantee. The matter settled favorably before trial.
- City of Houston v. Willis Towers Watson. Secured significant result for 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 negotiated a favorable settlement for the City, which resulted in a net payment to the City of approximately $29 million.
- Confidential Law Firm Representation. 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. Obtained dismissal of all claims brought against Vitol, a major oil trading firm, in case involving antiterrorism act.
- Confidential Divorce Action. Represented party in high-value divorce proceeding involving ownership and control of significant oil and gas assets. The case settled before trial