Image: Ryan Phair

Ryan Phair

Partner, Litigation Department


Ryan Phair is Co-Chair of the Antitrust and Competition practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He is an experienced trial lawyer and appellate advocate whose practice focuses on complex civil, criminal, and international litigation and arbitrations; internal, congressional, and grand jury investigations; and public policy, strategic counseling, and crisis communications.

Mr. Phair has represented corporate and individual clients, both as plaintiffs and defendants, in a broad spectrum of complex litigation and arbitrations at the trial and appellate levels, including antitrust, securities, RICO, ERISA, FCA, fraud, false advertising, data breach, privacy, public nuisance, and other types of class and individual actions. On behalf of plaintiffs, he has successfully recovered over $1 billion for his clients, making him one of a few select lawyers to have ever achieved this feat. On behalf of defendants, Mr. Phair has an equally remarkable track record of success spanning dozens of complex cases, investigations, and enforcement actions. Mr. Phair is also an expert in the rapidly expanding field of mass arbitration and regularly advises clients and coordinates strategic responses to such campaigns.

Outside of the litigation context, Mr. Phair has represented and advised clients regarding interactions with numerous executive departments, congressional committees, and international organizations on a wide variety of strategic issues, including high-profile antitrust merger clearance and conduct investigations; the regulation of government-sponsored entities; the pricing and management of pharmaceuticals at the retail level; the operation of financial markets during times of economic turmoil; and the war in Iraq and other national security matters. Mr. Phair is also a well-known resource for many Wall Street bankers, investors, hedge funds, litigation funders, and private equity interests seeking to thoroughly assess antitrust risk as part of their investment due diligence process.

Mr. Phair also works extensively with myriad retailers, often on a daily basis as national coordinating counsel, to address litigation risks and related issues, including antitrust and competition; data privacy and security; product labeling and liability; advertising, marketing, and pricing practices; and statutory and consumer class actions and mass arbitrations. Mr. Phair has developed a nationwide reputation for his expertise in the issues affecting the retail industry and is frequently invited to speak to and represent leading retailers on their most important matters.

In his spare time, Mr. Phair serves on the adjunct law faculty at Georgetown University Law Center and is passionate about teaching and training the next generation of lawyers.

Mr. Phair is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Fourth Circuit, D.C. Circuit, and Federal Circuit. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, the District of Maryland, and the Northern District of Illinois, amongst others.

Mr. Phair is an active member of the organized bar and has been elected by the members of the D.C. Bar to the ABA House of Delegates.


  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D. (with Honors; Order of the Coif; John M. Olin Foundation Fellowship; Thomas R. Mulroy Prize for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy; Managing Editor, University of Chicago Law Review), 2001
  • Boston College, B.A., 1996


  • Representation of AOL Time Warner and Netscape in the private antitrust litigation arising out of the “browser wars” that were the subject of U.S. v. Microsoft Corp., which resulted in a settlement worth over $750 million for his clients. Mr. Phair's role in this case was recognized in the article, “Big Suits: AOL Time Warner v. Microsoft” in The American Lawyer.
  • Representation of a major media conglomerate in antitrust litigation challenging television industry distribution practices.
  • Representation of a multinational consumer electronics company in antitrust litigation brought by an entity affiliated with a foreign government.
  • Representation of the nation’s leading restaurants and grocery store chains in investigations and litigation involving price fixing and bid ridding in the supply chain.
  • Representation of a leading national retailer in a landmark Section 7 challenge to an attempted vertical merger amongst suppliers.
  • Representation of a multitude of public companies and financial institutions in securities and ERISA class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, and parallel DOJ and SEC criminal investigations.
  • Representation of a prominent investment bank in litigation relating to the clearing and settlement of short sales in the prime brokerage industry.
  • Representation of a prominent market maker in antitrust, securities and commodities class action and direct action litigation involving alleged market manipulation.
  • Representation of multiple corporate opt-out and/or direct action plaintiffs in numerous multi-district antitrust litigation matters involving price fixing in the supply chain.
  • Representation of numerous retailers and consumer goods manufacturers in nationwide consumer class actions.
  • Representation of a government-subsidized entity in litigation arising out of a failed joint venture promoted by Congress.
  • Representation of a multitude of public companies and financial institutions in securities and ERISA class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, and parallel DOJ and SEC criminal investigations.
  • Representation of a prominent investment bank in litigation relating to the clearing and settlement of short sales in the prime brokerage industry.
  • Representation of a Washington, DC-based investment company in a longstanding, highly publicized battle with an outspoken hedge fund manager.
  • Representation of a major financial institution in a lengthy fraud trial arising out of its due diligence on a multi-billion dollar merger in the late 1990s.
  • Representation of a “Big Four” accounting firm in several notorious international fraud cases.
  • Representation of a third-party auditor in multi-state unclaimed property proceedings and related litigation.

Matters may have been completed before joining Paul Hastings.

Engagement & Publications


  • Author, Recent Private Merger Challenges: Anomaly or Harbinger, Antitrust Magazine (Aug. 2021) (nominated for 2022 Concurrences Antitrust Writing Award)
  • Author, Political Finance and Corrupt Practices, International Election Principles: Democratic Elections & The Rule of Law, John Harding Young, ed. 2008
  • Author, Appellate Review of Multi-Claim General Verdicts: The Life and Premature Death of the Baldwin Principle, 4 J. App. Prac. & Process 89, 2002; selected for reprinting in 52 Defense Law Journal 149, 2003
  • Author, The Choice-of-Law Problem In Rule 23(b)(3) Nationwide Class Actions, 129 U. Chi. L. Rev., 2000

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Innovation Driving Growth in Big Law (panel at the International Legal Finance Association Meeting – April 15, 2024)
  • Alphabet Soup – Emerging ESG and PFAS Litigation Risks in the Retail Industry (October 2023) (presentation to the National Retail Federation’s Membership Meeting)
  • The FTC’s Retail Agenda 2.0: What’s in Store for 2023 and Beyond (presentation to the National Retail Federation’s General Counsels Summer Meeting – June 21, 2023)
  • The Current Wave of VPPA and CIPA Actions Against Retailers: Monitoring Trends in Meta Pixel Litigation (presentation to National Retail Federation’s Privacy Council – May 9, 2023)
  • Affirmative Recovery Strategies to Fund Your Legal Department (October 21, 2020) (presentation at 2020 Retail Law Conference sponsored by the Retail Litigation Center)


Practice Areas

Antitrust and Competition


Consumer Financial Services

International Arbitration




District of Columbia Bar

Maryland Bar


The University of Chicago Law School, J.D. 2001

Boston College, B.A. 1996

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