Ryan Scarborough defends financial institutions, law firms, corporations, and their directors and officers against threatened or actual litigation from government regulators, consumers, shareholders, and competitors.  In recent years, Ryan has litigated against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and other financial regulatory agencies.  He has been recognized by The Legal 500 for his work in handling Financial Services litigation, which praises him for his “calming approach” when advising financial institutions and high-ranking executives across a range of litigation and enforcement actions.

Ryan draws upon his deep experience in both federal and state courts across the country.  He has led trial teams in cases ranging from banking to pharmaceutical mass torts to contractual disputes, argued dispositive motions and appeals, and prepared, defended, and examined experts and fact witnesses at deposition and trial.

Ryan frequently speaks and writes about topics related to regulatory and enforcement initiatives.  Ryan published an article in the Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law discussing "Why Does the FDIC Sue Bank Officers? Exploring the Boundaries of the Business Judgment Rule in the Wake of the Great Recession," 20 Fordham J. Corp. & Fin. L. 367 (2015).  His most recent article, entitled "The Law of Unintended Consequences: How the CFPB’s Unprecedented Legislative Authority and Enforcement Approach Has Invited Increasing Challenges," appeared in the July 2016 edition of Banking & Financial Services Policy Report.  

Ryan’s pro bono work includes an active role in supervising Williams & Connolly LLP associates who represent clients in landlord-tenant disputes, Social Security disability cases, and historical preservation matters in Washington, D.C.  He has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he taught a trial practice seminar regarding expert witnesses. 

Ryan was born and raised in Austin, Texas.  He graduated summa cum laude from Duke University in 1994 with a degree in Public Policy Studies.  Ryan then studied abroad in Japan for a year as a Fulbright Scholar at Tohoku University before entering law school.  Ryan graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1998, and served as a Primary Editor on the Harvard Law Review.  He joined Williams & Connolly in 2000 after clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Alan C. Kay in Honolulu.

Representative Experience

  • Defended former directors and officers of a dozen different banks in response to threatened or actual FDIC receivership lawsuits
  • Represented bank directors, officers, and institution-affiliated parties in response to threatened enforcement actions by the OCC, FDIC, and Federal Reserve Bank 
  • Represented two different companies in response to CFPB enforcement actions, including appealing supervisory exam findings pursuant to the Bureau’s internal appeals process 
  • Advised directors in response to threatened shareholder lawsuit
  • Litigated breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets case on behalf of payment processing client
  • Advised and defended major AmLaw law firm in response to threatened and actual claims
  • Defended bank in response to lender liability claims
  • Tried numerous cases on behalf of Pfizer and Wyeth involving menopausal hormone therapy medicines Prempro and Premarin 
  • Litigated breach of contract case in Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of real estate developer
  • Litigated two breach of contract suits against the federal government on behalf of investors who recapitalized insolvent banks only to have the FDIC seize those banks after Congress enacted laws undoing the deals



Selected to Super Lawyers, 2014, 2017


Government Service

Law Clerk, Judge Alan C. Kay, United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, 1999

back to top