Oklahoma City +1 405 367 0555
All Oklahoma State Courts, U.S. District Courts for the Western and Northern, and Districts of Oklahoma, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, U.S. Tax Court, and the United States Supreme Court
Business Law and Litigation / Insurance Law / Receiverships / Native American and Tribal Law
Ryan Leonard is an experienced litigator in federal and state courts, and specializes in solving complex business problems for his clients. Ryan practices primarily in the areas of business law and litigation, insurance law, receiverships and Native American law. He maintains the highest Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Attorney Recognition (“AV”) rating for skills and ethics for attorneys based on professional peer reviews and, amongst a number of other recognitions, has been selected since 2016 as a top-rated “Super Lawyer” for business litigation. Ryan has also been selected as a “Top Rated Lawyer” by Corporate Counsel. Prior to entering private practice, Ryan served as a state prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office in Canadian County, Oklahoma. Ryan also served for four years (1994-98) as a Legislative Assistant to former U.S. Senator Don Nickles in Washington, D.C., in which capacity he served as the Senator’s chief legislative aide on issues involving the federal judiciary, Indian Affairs, transportation, agriculture and natural resources. In 2020, Ryan was named “Special Counsel for Native American Affairs” to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, which resulted in nearly half of Oklahoma being designated as a “reservation” more than a century after statehood. In January 2021, as authorized by Oklahoma law, Governor Stitt designated Ryan as the lead negotiator for the State in discussions with Oklahoma’s Native American tribes to address the unprecedented jurisdictional complexities raised by McGirt. Ryan also appeared as co-counsel for Oklahoma before the U.S. Supreme Court in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, a decision which narrowed the potential scope of McGirt. Through his law practice, Ryan is also regularly appointed by federal and state courts as a “Receiver” for troubled businesses, tasked with either managing, rehabilitating or liquidating businesses generally for the benefit of creditors. Ryan also represents Receivers, including having served as lead counsel for the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner in the liquidation of a nationwide insurance company involving hundreds of millions of dollars in claims. In 2018, at the request of the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, Ryan was named by the Oklahoma County District Court as “Interim CEO” of Union Mutual Insurance Company, the first ever Oklahoma-domiciled insurance company to have been successfully rehabilitated from receivership. In 2019, Ryan was appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma as Chairperson of a three-member Commission to assist the Federal Court in determining “just compensation” to multiple landowners in an eminent domain pipeline action. Ryan is very active in the local community, having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mercy Hospital-Oklahoma City, along with having served on a number of other boards including the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Central Oklahoma Red Cross, the Central Oklahoma YMCA, KIPP Charter School, the Executive Committee of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals and the Legal Ethics Committee of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Ryan was also a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class XIX, and has volunteered his time pro bono for Oklahoma Lawyers for Children. At a younger age, Ryan earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Since 2008, Ryan has been appointed and reappointed by Governors of both parties to serve as a Commissioner representing Oklahoma on the Uniform Law Commission, a national organization consisting of approximately 350 lawyers, judges and legislators tasked with drafting uniform laws for consideration by all States and Territories. Ryan has served on the Executive Committee of the national organization (2015-23), and has held the offices of Secretary (2022-23) as well as Chair of the national Legislative Council, the committee tasked with overseeing enactment of uniform laws in all 53 jurisdictions (2015-2019). Ryan earned his law degree from the University of Oklahoma and graduated magna cum laude from Boston College with a B.A. in History. Ryan also attended the L’Institut d’Etude Politiques in Strasbourg, France. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching his childrens’ activities, reading history, travel and archaeology. He is the co-author of “Opala: In Faithful Service to the Law,” a biography of former Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Marian Opala, as well as “Principles and Perseverance: The Life of Don Nickles.” Ryan is admitted to practice before the Oklahoma Supreme Court and all Oklahoma state courts, the federal courts for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Tax Court and the United States Supreme Court.