Paul W. Ryan

Of Counsel

+1 212 335 2398

Paul is a trusted litigator and counselor who represents individuals, trading firms, and corporations in high stakes government enforcement and civil litigation matters, as well as in sensitive Securities Enforcement Commission (“SEC”) whistleblower cases. Paul leverages his diverse experience in private practice, government, as in-house counsel, and at the SEC to craft protective legal strategies for clients. His commitment to helping clients maneuver stressful accusations of wrongdoing is second-to-none.

Practicing in a highly regulated and visible area of law, Paul understands the impact that governmental investigations have on one’s reputation and career. Some of Paul’s most significant achievements are the quiet, yet critical, successes that protect clients and their future, often confidentially. A persuasive professional, Paul often convinces prosecutors and regulators to decline bringing enforcement or criminal actions against his clients. But should an action ensue, or where a trial is necessary to achieve client goals, Paul is a formidable advocate. He is widely known for achieving trial victory in a high-profile insider trading case against the SEC. This landmark win, recognized by The New York Times as “a rare loss” for the SEC, underscores Paul’s ability to secure favorable outcomes for clients even in the face of the government’s substantial resources.

Before joining Walden Macht Haran & Williams, Paul served as Assistant Counsel in the Executive Chamber of Governor Kathy Hochul. A critical member of the Governor’s legal team, Paul oversaw key governmental portfolios such as the Department of Financial Services, the MTA, and the Department of Labor. Prior to working for the Governor, Paul co-founded a boutique white-collar litigation firm, representing individuals and companies in high-stakes government investigations by the SEC, FINRA, and the New York Attorney General’s Office and the United States Department of Justice. He also successfully resolved numerous civil litigation matters, earning recognition for his adept negotiation skills and advocacy.

Perhaps most influential on his current work, Paul was an SEC Enforcement attorney for nearly a decade, serving as Senior Counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. At the SEC, Paul conducted dozens of investigations, including numerous parallel investigations with the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. As lead attorney, he handled matters involving complex securities fraud, accounting fraud, insider trading, fraudulent securities offerings, mutual fund market-timing and late trading, and non-compliance with disclosure rules. He twice received the Director’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Enforcement.

Paul’s well-rounded experience includes working as in-house counsel at Pfizer, serving as legal and compliance counsel to the marketing teams for global commercial products.  He has also appeared on CNBC as an expert insider trading analyst.

Paul began his legal career in the litigation departments of two of New York’s top law firms where he developed foundational skills for securing excellent results for clients.

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Won an insider trading trial against the SEC on behalf of a former Wells Fargo trader.

Won appeal of trial win in insider trading case in front of the Commission over the objections of the SEC Enforcement staff.

Represented former cryptocurrency exchange employee in investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York regarding alleged market manipulation of cryptocurrency exchanges.

Won dismissal of former entertainment company president in class action federal case involving alleged sexual misconduct and RICO violations.

Obtained summary judgment dismissal on behalf of a former employee of Knoedler Art Gallery in a high-profile civil RICO litigation in the Southern District of New York involving claims of art fraud.

Achieved pre-answer, non-monetary dismissal on behalf of two company defendants in complex business dispute in the Eastern District of New York.


Professional Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Council
  • New York City Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association

Pro Bono

  • Kids in Need of Defense, represent young, undocumented immigrants with claims of amnesty and Special Immigration Juvenile Status in the US immigration and New York family courts for over 10 years.