Jake Ryan is a partner in Latham & Watkins' San Diego office. He is the former Global Vice Chair of the firm's Complex Commercial Litigation Practice, and the former Chair of the firm's San Diego Litigation & Trial Department. Mr. Ryan is a trial lawyer who focuses on intellectual property litigation, white collar criminal defense and government investigations, and other complex business litigation. Mr. Ryan has established a record of successfully resolving cases at trial and by dispositive motions in a wide variety of subject areas, including trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and financial fraud.

As a former federal prosecutor, Mr. Ryan has extensive experience as lead trial counsel in several high-profile jury trials. His recent jury trial victories include:

  • A US$13.1 million jury verdict and US$5 million punitive damage award following a three-week trade secret/unfair competition/breach of contract trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. In its annual Top Verdicts of 2013 feature, the Daily Journal selected this case as a Top Plaintiffs’ Verdicts by Impact, in California.
  • Complete defense verdicts against 14 of 17 plaintiffs following a 4½-month financial fraud jury trial in San Diego Superior Court.

In addition to his jury trial work, Mr. Ryan also represents technology companies in national and international arbitration proceedings, including patent licensing disputes, commercial contract disputes and other complex business disputes. His recent arbitration victories include:

  • A complete defense award on a US$60 million breach of contract claim and a US$10.1 million award on behalf of a computer software company in a JAMS arbitration in Los Angeles

Mr. Ryan has also represented numerous technology companies in patent litigation and securities class actions and derivative litigation.

Prior to joining Latham, Mr. Ryan served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago where he prosecuted cases in the area of “white collar” fraud, terrorism, tax evasion and organized crime. During his tenure with the Department of Justice, he was also appointed a Special Attorney to the US Attorney General for the purpose of defending an Assistant US Attorney and a US Attorney’s Office in a criminal contempt action.

As an Assistant US Attorney, Mr. Ryan prosecuted two of the largest and most significant gang cases in the US; approximately 50 defendants were indicted in each case.

  • In the first case, he served as lead trial counsel in a series of trials against the leadership of one of Chicago’s most violent and notorious street gangs. At the conclusion of a six-week jury trial, the leader of the gang and two of his key lieutenants were convicted on all counts of the indictment.
  • In the second case, Mr. Ryan led a team of federal prosecutors, agents and Chicago police officers in an extensive wiretap investigation that dismantled the leadership of another of Chicago’s largest street gangs. This case was widely reported in the local and national press, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today. The Director of the White House Office for National Drug Control Policy (“the Drug Czar”) awarded Mr. Ryan and his team the 2006 Outstanding Investigative Effort Award for their efforts in the case. He also received the Department of Justice superior performance award and the Chicago Crime Commission Star of Distinction Award for his work as trial counsel in the prosecution of several leaders of an international drug trafficking cartel.

Mr. Ryan is a former Navy pilot. During the six years he flew for the Navy, he was deployed to the Arabian Gulf and Somalia and was commended for bravery for his actions during an in-flight emergency.

Mr. Ryan was a law clerk for Chief Judge Michael J. Melloy of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, University of Iowa College of Law, 1997
    With Distinction, Articles Editor, The Iowa Law Review
  • BA, University of Iowa, 1989
General Recognition Thumbnail
January 10, 2023Recognition

Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs

Latham recognized for representing a defendant in an alleged Medicare-related kickback scheme involving a clinical research program testing for opioid addiction risk which concluded with prosecution dropping all charges.