Bar Admissions

North Carolina



Washington University in St. Louis, J.D., 2004; Associate Editor, Washington University Law Quarterly

Vanderbilt University, B.A., cum laude, 2000


Heather Ryan is a seasoned employee benefits and executive compensation lawyer and co-chair of the firm's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group. She brings a unique perspective to the table, drawing on a decade of experience as in-house employee benefits and executive compensation counsel, as well as business roles in Total Rewards, at two publicly held, multibillion-dollar corporations. Heather's approach to helping clients solve problems and design new plans is both pragmatic and proactive.

Heather counsels clients on all aspects of employee benefits including 401(k), pension, cafeteria, health and welfare plans, and she has successfully handled many Department of Labor audits and IRS correction submissions for clients. Heather enjoys working with clients on a broad range of issues, including fiduciary matters, employer stock best practices, HIPAA, COBRA and wellness plans.

Heather has extensive experience advising on the benefits and compensation issues involved in corporate transactions, including equity compensation, change in control arrangements, severance and deferred compensation. She also regularly helps clients develop and draft compensation committee material for the board and advises on governance matters affecting such committees.



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Community Affiliations

  • Arts+, Board Member, 2022
  • Women Executives, Member
  • Providence Day School, Annual Fund Chair, 2016-18; Social Responsibility and Community Engagement Chair, 2021-22
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