The prominent Richmond-based law firm of LeClairRyan is losing founder and name partner Dennis M. Ryan as he returns to the world of corporate management.
Ryan will leave the firm in April to become executive vice president at Richmond’s Health Diagnostic Laboratory.
Ryan was a business leader before going to law school in the late 70s. Accepted to both the Darden business school and the law school at the University of Virginia, Ryan chose law. After 30 years advising businesses and medical practitioners, Ryan will give up law practice to rejoin the business community.
“I really went to law school to become a corporate attorney,” he said.
Ryan will work with Tonya Mallory, President and Co-Founder of HDL Inc. and a member of VLW’s Influential Women Class of 2010. Ryan said he has known Mallory for more than 20 years. “I respect what she has done and what she’s doing,” he said.
Ryan provided counsel for the establishment of HDL. “That, for someone like me, is the most fun – when you can get in on day one, the ground floor,” Ryan said.
Ryan said HDL faces several challenges as he joins the management team. The company has plans for a presence in Europe as well as expansion at the Virginia Bio-Technology Research Park in Richmond.
Ryan has had his share of management duties at LeClairRyan – he was COO for many years. He currently is vice chairman.
“Dennis and I have been friends and colleagues for 30 years,” said Gary D. LeClair, firm chairman. “While we recognize that the next chapter eventually will begin for all of us, we will deeply miss seeing and working with Dennis every day.”
The firm is permitted to retain the LeClairRyan name despite Ryan’s departure because he is retiring from the private practice of law, Ryan said.