Ranked in 1 Practice Areas

Band 1



17 Years Ranked


Provided by Matthew C Ryan


Practice Areas

As Allensworth’s senior attorney, Matt Ryan’s work centers on management of our construction law firm, industry outreach, and above all, providing guidance to clients from a high-level, strategic perspective. But if you ask him what he does, his response is simply “I help people solve their problems.” Relationships are the driving force in how he practices law, and this is the reason his clients trust him to handle their most sensitive issues.

An experienced Austin construction lawyer, Matt’s clients run the industry gamut in Texas, with a particular focus on architects, engineers, and landscape architects. They are in the business of designing and building things, and while disputes are an unavoidable part of doing business in the construction industry, any such issues are unwanted distractions from their true purpose. As a trusted advisor, Matt’s role is to ease the client’s burden by putting dispute entanglement into perspective, allowing them to get back to their work with a clearer understanding of the path forward—secure in the knowledge that their advocates have the case well in hand.

More concretely, Matt helps manage risk and resolve disputes as quickly and reasonably as possible, while recognizing that a jury verdict or arbitration award may be the only path to resolution. Whether handling a professional licensing issue, a claim for defective design or construction, or a client’s affirmative claims for relief, Matt starts his work with a candid discussion of the client’s objectives in each case, listening intently and asking questions to fully understand the scope of the issue and the client’s priorities. From there, he works to demystify the dispute resolution process—including mediation, litigation, and arbitration—and assemble the teams required to deliver the strategy, clarity, and service clients need, all while establishing reasonable expectations and always working to exceed them.

In addition to his client advocacy role, Matt also serves on the American Arbitration Association’s panel of construction arbitrators. As a decider of disputes, Matt has a deep understanding of construction law and the complex dynamics of multiparty construction claims—earned by a career spent serving clients across the industry. This diversity of work helps him see construction relationships clearly and appreciate the underlying forces driving any given dispute.

An incurable extrovert who will never turn down a conversation, Matt is also the firm’s partner in charge of industry outreach—and his own service record demonstrates his longstanding commitment to the field. A former Chair of the Austin and State Bar of Texas Construction Law Sections, Matt has served as an Adjunct Professor of Construction Law and Construction Litigation at the University of Texas School of Law since 2006, and he is a Steering Committee Member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law (Division 3 – Design). Above all, he is particularly proud of his honorary membership in AIA Austin, where he served on the Board of Directors for eleven consecutive years, making many friends along the way.

Professional Memberships

University of Texas at Austin School of Law | Adjunct Professor in Construction Law and Construction Litigation (2006-Present)

American Institute of Architects, Austin Chapter | Board Member (2009-2020); Honorary Member (2012-Present)

Texas Society of Architects | Legislative Affairs Advisor (2011-2021)

American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry | Member (2015-Present); Division 3 (Design) Steering Committee Member (2018-Present)

State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section | Member (1998-Present); Texas Construction Law Journal Editorial Board Member (2014-Present); Chair (2013-2014); Treasurer (2010-2012); Council Member (2007-2010); Chair, Basic Course in Construction Law (2006); Ex Officio Council Member (2005)

Austin Bar Association, Construction Law Section | Member (2000-Present); Chair (2006-2007); Vice-Chair (2005-2006); Secretary-Treasurer (2004-2005); Chair, Breakfast with the Judiciary (2004-2006)


First Chair Wanted: How Do We Get There?

American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law Fall Program (September 2022)

Law and the Architect: 2022 – A Smorgasbord of Thoughts on Architectural Practice and Risk Management

AIA Austin 2022 Design Excellence Conference (August 2022)

Ding-Dong, the Lonergan Witch is Dead: SB 219’s Impact and How to Live in the New World

Construction Law Foundation of Texas 35th Annual Construction Law Conference (March 2022)

Walking the Tightrope: Risk Management Strategies for Landscape Architects

American Society of Landscape Architects Educational Session (February 2021)

Law and the Architect 2020: Knowledge as the Ultimate Catalyst | Professional Practice Issues and COVID-19

Texas Society of Architects 81st Annual Conference (November 2020)

Architecture in a Time of Pandemic: Professional Practice Issues and COVID-19

AIA Austin Webinar (April 2020)

2019 Legislative Update

Austin Bar Association Construction Law Section (October 2019)

Handle with Care: The Standard of Care for Design Professionals in Texas

Construction Law Foundation of Texas 32nd Annual Construction Law Conference (February 2019)

Law and the Architect: 2018

AIA Austin Summer Conference (August 2018); Texas Society of Architects 79th Annual Conference (November 2018)

Risk Management for Design Professionals

Build On: The Construction Seminar for Construction Experts (September 2018)

Litigation: The Other L Word

AIA Austin Speaker Series for Allied Members (January 2018)

Law & The Architect: 2017

Presented at: AIA San Antonio Spring Conference (March 2017); AIA Austin Small Firms Roundtable (June 2017); AIA Austin Summer Conference (August 2017); THRESHOLD: Texas Society of Architects 78th Annual Convention (November 2017)

Case Study: Port of Houston/Zachry Contract

Presented to the Construction Industry Institute Executive Leadership Program, The University of Texas at Austin (January 2017)

Design Professionals and the Economic Loss Rule

Presented to the State Bar of Texas 27th Annual Construction Law Conference (March 2014)

The Certificate of Merit: Field of Opportunity and Peril

Presented to the State Bar of Texas 26th Annual Construction Law Conference (March 2013)

The Witching Hour: Limitations, Repose, Tolling, and Other Horrors

Presented to the State Bar of Texas 25th Annual Construction Law Conference (March 2012)

Architectural Law Case Update 2010-2011

Presented to The American Institute of Architects Austin Summer Conference (August 2011)

Understanding (and Avoiding) Professional Liability Claims

Presented to the Texas Society of Professional Engineers 75th Annual Meeting and Conference (June 2011)

Power And Responsibility: Avoiding & Managing Complaints at the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners

Presented to The American Institute of Architects San Antonio Professional Practice Leadership Program (May 2011)

Avoiding and Managing Complaints before the Texas Board of Professional Engineers

Presentation for HalfMoon Seminars, LLC: Minimizing Engineering Liability Exposure (February 2011 and August 2010)

Mechanics of Perfecting and Preserving a Lien Claim

Presentation for Lorman Education Services: Construction Lien Law in Texas (February 2007 and 2008)

Ethical Issues for Design Professionals, Including Avoiding and Managing Cases before the Licensing Boards

Presentation for HalfMoon Seminars, LLC: Legal Issues for Texas Design Professionals (August and March 2006)

The Trail of Tears: TXDOT Claims and Procedures

Presented to the State Bar of Texas 19th Annual Construction Law Conference (March 2006)


Defending national design professional in multiparty lawsuit involving $10M+ claim for business/property loss and nine-figure claims for catastrophic personal injuries arising from pipeline explosion in West Texas.

Representing national architecture firm in $13M claim involving design of Texas healthcare facility.

Representing national architecture firm against $6M claim arising from design and construction of military retirement facility.

Representing structural engineer in $10M+ claim involving design and construction of Texas football stadium.

Representing large international design firm in multimillion-dollar dispute over disaster recovery services performed in wake of Gulf Coast hurricane.

Achieved zero-dollar defense verdict for client in federal district court dispute against rival cable/telecom construction company.

Defended against high-dollar claim by Rio Grande Valley municipality for alleged fraud and breaches of contract and fiduciary duty on water treatment plant project.

Handled $12M+ claim asserted by a large Central Texas school district on behalf of MEP engineering firm, ultimately resolving case for small fraction of overall claim, including low single-digit percentage of overall settlement funding by defendants.

Handled defense of project architect on catastrophic Central Texas personal injury case involving triple-amputation victim and eight-figure damages claim in Dallas, Texas.

Negotiated major architectural and landscape architecture contracts for new Apple campus in North Austin area, for complex second only in size to company’s Cupertino headquarters.

Obtained favorable negotiated settlement of disciplinary proceeding before Texas Board of Architectural Examiners involving calls for revocation of architectural licenses but ultimately resolved through small administrative penalties and no suspension or loss of practice rights.

Prevailed in recent trial before State Office of Administrative Hearings to obtain ruling in client’s favor on disciplinary matter involving Texas Board of Professional Engineers.

Represented architectural firm in claim for $1M+ in professional fees, while defending against over $4M in claims associated with purported design deficiencies on $125M higher education project.

Successfully represented general contractor through two-week arbitration hearing against Austin-area golf course property, securing favorable award, and secured lien claim and abstract of judgment post-award.

Obtained full dismissal of Texas Board of Architectural Examiners complaints against architects where claimant filed complaints as means to generate leverage in ongoing litigation.

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