Ryan McConnell is a former federal prosecutor who focuses his practice on corporate compliance issues, internal investigations, and white-collar criminal defense. Following his government service, Ryan worked as a partner at three international law firms conducting internal investigations representing clients in lengthy regulatory investigations, before opening his own firm focused on building world-class compliance programs.
Today, Ryan advises clients in industries ranging from eCommerce to energy on how to use empirical data to leverage internal resources and create risk-based compliance programs—routinely traveling to Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. His clients are spread around the globe and range in size from 15,000 to 2.2 million employees, covering subject matters from anti-corruption to privacy.
Outside of his law practice, Ryan teaches international corporate compliance at the University of Houston Law Center. Before starting his own firm, he also taught criminal procedure for half a decade (including while as an Assistant U.S. Attorney), and in 2011 he was named faculty member of the year by the UH Advocates. His corporate compliance course was featured on the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog and other trade publications for its innovative approach of teaching compliance as a process framework as opposed to viewing compliance through the lens of one specific subject matter. Ryan also writes the popular Risky Business column for Corporate Counsel magazine—where he discusses compliance and risk issues as well as other regulatory and in-house topics. Over the past decade, Ryan has written several law review articles on corporate charging and nearly a hundred articles for Corporate Counsel magazine.
Ryan regularly speaks at conferences around the U.S. on risk-based compliance programs, including the Directors’ College at Stanford University in Palo Alto and Ethisphere’s Global Ethics Summit in New York. From 2011 to 2013, Ryan organized an Ethics and Compliance Symposium at the University of Houston Law Center that received national attention in publications ranging from Corporate Counsel to the Wall Street Journal. In 2011, he led an empirical study that analyzed the codes of conduct of Fortune 500 companies that the University of Houston Law Center took over in 2014 with three years of data on corporate codes of conduct. His research on deferred and non-prosecution agreements was mentioned in two separate New York Times articles and cited by Congress in an effort to institute reform for corporate charging. For the past six years, he has been listed on Ethisphere’s list of Attorneys Who Matter. He is also named in the Who’s Who global list of Business Crime Defense lawyers.
Before entering private practice, Ryan served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Louisiana and Houston. As part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime Strike Force in Houston, Ryan tried numerous criminal cases and conducted significant grand jury investigations of international scope on matters ranging from violations of U.S. trade laws to complex fraud. He also regularly briefed and argued criminal appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In addition to his trial work, Ryan participated in the planning and execution of undercover operations to enforce U.S. trade controls and was involved in some of the most significant worksite enforcement investigations in the United States. Ryan was also involved in training Department of Justice (DOJ) federal prosecutors at the DOJ National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, including preparing DOJ training materials on criminal procedure, corporate compliance, and charging.
Ryan began his career as a law clerk for Judge John C. Godbold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, JD, 2003 (Order of the Coif)
Louisiana State University, BA, 2000
State Bar of Texas
State Bar of New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals – Second, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana