Matthew Ryan is an experienced construction lawyer dedicated to advocating for his clients, promoting legal scholarship, and serving the construction industry. Matt’s primary focus is on providing a clear path to daylight for clients facing disputes and other business challenges. He also regularly represents design professionals in disciplinary and registration proceedings, defends design professionals and contractors against claims, and helps clients build and maintain strong foundations for their businesses through disciplined and customized contract drafting and negotiation.
Matt serves on the American Arbitration Association’s panel of arbitrators for the construction industry and is an Adjunct Professor of Construction Law at the University of Texas School of Law, where he lectures on lien and bond claims, AIA form contracts, design professional disciplinary actions, and claims before the Texas Department of Transportation and the State Office of Administrative Hearings. He served for eleven years as a member of the Board of Directors for the Austin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and was granted honorary membership by the chapter in 2012. He has held leadership positions in both the State Bar of Texas’s Construction Law Section and the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law.
- Supreme Court of the United States (2013)
Supreme Court of Texas (1998)
Supreme Court of Massachusetts (1997; inactive due to residency in Texas)
- Admitted to U.S. Districts Courts for the Western, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas (1999)
Industry Involvement & Memberships
- University of Texas at Austin School of Law | Adjunct Professor in Construction Law and Construction Litigation (2006-Present)
- American Institute of Architects, Austin Chapter | Board Member (2009-Present); Honorary Member (2012-Present)
- Texas Society of Architects | Legislative Affairs Advisor (2011-Present)
- American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry | Member (2015-Present); Division 3 (Design) Steering Committee Member (2018)
- State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section | Member (1998-Present); Construction Law Journal Editorial Board (2014-Present); Long-Term Planning Committee Member (2017-Present); Chair (2013-2014); Treasurer (2010-2012); Council Member (2007-2010); Chair, Basic Course in Construction Law (2006); Ex Officio Council Member (2005)
- Austin Bar Association, Construction Law Section | Member (2000-Present); Chair (2006-2007); Vice-Chair (2005-2006); Secretary-Treasurer (2004-2005); Chair, Breakfast with the Judiciary (2004-2006)
- Best Lawyers, Austin, Texas | “Lawyer of the Year” – Construction Law (2020); Construction Law (2013-2020); Arbitration (2018-2020)
- Chambers USA, Texas | Construction Law, Band 2 (2018-2020)
- Super Lawyers, Texas | Litigation – Construction (2004, 2008-2019)
- Super Lawyers, Central and West Texas | Top 50 (2017-2019)
- Super Lawyers, Texas Rising Stars | Construction Litigation (2004)
J.D., University of Texas School of Law (1997)
Texas International Law Journal | Member
B.A., Political Science, The University of Vermont (1990)
- Negotiated major architectural and landscape architecture contracts for new Apple campus in North Austin area, for complex second only in size to company’s Cupertino headquarters.
- Handling defense of project architect on catastrophic Central Texas personal injury case, involving triple-amputation victim and eight-figure damages claim in Dallas, Texas.
- Obtained favorable negotiated settlement of disciplinary proceeding before Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, involving calls for revocation of architectural licenses but ultimately resolved through small administrative penalties and no suspension or loss of practice rights.
- Defending against high-dollar claim by Rio Grande Valley municipality for alleged fraud and breaches of contract and fiduciary duty on water treatment plant project.
- Representing architectural firm in claim for $1,000,000+ in professional fees, while defending against over $4,000,000 in claims associated with purported design deficiencies on $125,000,000 higher education project.
- Prevailed in recent trial before State Office of Administrative Hearings, to obtain ruling in client’s favor on disciplinary matter involving Texas Board of Professional Engineers.
- Achieved zero-dollar defense verdict for client in federal district court dispute against rival cable/telecom construction company.
- Successfully obtained $800,000+ recovery, including lien claim and abstract of judgment, against major Austin-area golf course property and ownership group on behalf of general contractor, following two-week arbitration proceeding.
- Handled $12,000,000+ claim asserted by a large Central Texas school district on behalf of MEP engineering firm, ultimately resolving case for small fraction of overall claim, including low single-digit percentage of overall settlement funding by defendants.