Ryan McConnell

Attorney, R. McConnell Group PLLC

Ryan McConnell is a former federal prosecutor in Houston who serves as a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 clients in industries ranging from advertising to retail around the globe. Ryan’s practice focuses 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 before opening his own firm focused on building world-class compliance programs and conducting internal investigations.
Each year, the firm’s practice is a balance of corporate compliance and government investigations work for the world’s leading companies with firm lawyers, including Ryan, traveling to Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and various cities across the U.S. The firm’s practice has grown significantly in scope and complexity each year since its inception.
In 2018, Ryan’s work included:
  • Assisting both the largest telecommunications company and the largest retailer in the world to integrate a half dozen new companies into their respective eCommerce and ad tech entities.
  • Conducting internal investigations involving fraud/corruption and intellectual property issues for Fortune 500 companies.
  • Representing oilfield services companies and a global freight forwarder in multiple criminal investigations.
  • Designing and executing a simple risk assessment process benchmarked to regulatory requirements for multiple Fortune 100 companies.
  • Advising leadership of multiple Fortune 100 companies on compliance program design and execution, including development or redesign of hundreds of policies, procedures, and other standards and controls.
  • Assisting companies with program monitoring and developing bespoke training and communication materials.
  • Advising a global private equity firm on acquisition issues and numerous oil and gas companies on anti-corruption and trade compliance.
  • Designing and assisting with implementation of a compliance program for a global sports organization.

Outside of his law practice, Ryan has had a long-standing commitment to education on compliance and investigation issues. Ryan has taught international corporate compliance at the University of Houston Law Center for several years. 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 to teaching compliance as a process framework as opposed to viewing compliance through the lens of one specific subject matter. Ryan also writes for Corporate Counsel magazine—where he discusses compliance and risk issues as well as other regulatory and in-house legal topics. Over the past decade, Ryan has written several law review articles on corporate charging and over a hundred articles for Corporate Counsel magazine, including interviews of executives from the world’s leading companies.

Ryan regularly speaks at conferences around the U.S. on risk-based compliance programs, including the Directors’ College at Stanford University in Palo Alto. In 2018, Louisiana State University approached Ryan to help them build an Ethics Institute and sit on that organization’s Advisory Board. 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 novel 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. Ryan is annually named in the Who’s Who global list of Business Crime Defense lawyers and listed on Ethisphere’s list of Attorneys Who Matter.

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 over a dozen 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 U.S. 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.

Source: R. McConnell Group PLLC

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