Claudia A. Ryan

Principal and President

Claudia A. Ryan is a founding principal and President of Towne, Ryan & Partners, P.C.  As a practicing attorney for nearly 38 years, Ms. Ryan has established a reputation of success as a trial attorney and concentrates her legal practice in the areas of insurance defense, including premises liability and products liability; defense of municipalities and school districts; and employment and civil rights matters.  She is recognized across New York State and the region as a leader in the employment practices field and enjoys a long established reputation for success across a broad client base which includes several municipalities, school districts, automobile dealerships and other employers, large and small.

In 1980, Ms. Ryan started her career in private practice handling union matters for the Public Employees Federation (PEF) including strike hearings across the State for the civilian employees at the major correctional facilities, which were the result of the 1979 strike of Council 82.  Her first assignment on this project sent her straight into Attica and, after the strike hearings ended, Ms. Ryan handled PEF’s disciplinary matters on a statewide basis.

Ms. Ryan then joined another area law firm where she became partner in 1987 and was one of the attorneys handling the representation of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) in grievances, disciplines and other employment related matters.  Before Towne, Ryan & Partners, Ms. Ryan was a founding partner of a women-owned law firm, formed in 1995, dedicated primarily to defense litigation on behalf of insurance carriers and self-insured entities.  As such, she handled numerous municipal cases as well as defended various municipalities regarding claims made against police agencies including excessive force claims.  During this time, in addition to running her full-time law practice, Ms. Ryan was an owner and operator for over 14 years of the popular Adirondack Bed and Breakfast, All Tucked Inn, on Lake Champlain in Westport, N.Y.


  • Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., 1979
  • LeMoyne College, B.A., cum laude, 1976

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2015
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2016


  • Presenter, Efficient Relationships with Outside Counsel, Risk Management Forum, 2018
  • Panelist, Women & Entrepreneurship, Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region, 2017
  • Presenter, Labor & Employment Law Update, Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers, 2016
  • Presenter, Legal Updates Impacting Dealerships, National Association of Dealer Counsel Member Conference, 2015
  • Speaker, Are You Certifiable (As a NYS Women Business Enterprise)?, One Woman. One World., Critical Needs Now, 2015
  • Speaker, Personnel and Labor Trends, National Association of Dealer Counsel, 2011
  • Speaker, Title IX and Cyber Bullying, New York State Association of School Business Officials, Adirondack Chapter, 2010
  • Speaker, Managing Risk, Reducing Liability for Retailers in the CSP (Convenient Stores – Petroleum) Leadership & Crisis Prevention Forum, EDU Networking Series Conference, 2010
  • Speaker, Defending Employee Discrimination Cases, New York State Bar Association Corporation Section, 200

Honors & Awards

  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 list , Labor Law – Union and Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York list (top 5% of attorneys based upon peer reviews and other criteria) as one of the top attorneys in Upstate New York, Employment & Labor, 2010-2019
  • Named on the list of Top 25 Women Lawyers in the New York Super Lawyers – Upstate magazine, 2010-2015, 2017-2019
  • Selected as Best Lawyers® 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Litigation – Labor and Employment Law, Albany, N.Y.
  • Selected for Lifetime Achievement Award, America’s Top 100 Attorneys®, Upstate New York, 2016
  • Named on the list of Top 25 Hudson Valley Lawyers in the New York Super Lawyers – Upstate magazine, 2011-2014, 2018

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Member, Albany County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Affiliate Member, Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers
  • Member, National Association of Dealer Counsel
  • Member, New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association
  • Member, Saratoga County Bar Association
  • Member, Women TIES
  • Former Executive Committee Member, Tort, Insurance and Compensation Law Section, New York Bar Association, 2008-2015