Cynthia Brennan Ryan

Cynthia (“Cindy”) Brennan Ryan is a founding partner of Ryan Law, P.A.  With more than 20 years experience, most of which was with a large, national law firm, in the firm’s Litigation Section, and a Partner in the Labor and Employment law group, Ms. Ryan has extensive experience in a variety of employment and commercial litigation matters.

Nature of Legal Practice

Ms. Ryan represents national and multi-site clients in defense of various federal and state employment and anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII, the Florida Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, whistleblower claims, workers compensation retaliation, and other federal and state statutory and common law claims.  Ms. Ryan defends clients in federal and state court litigation and in agency proceedings, such as before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, and local EEO agencies. Additionally, she counsels clients on numerous legal compliance matters, drafts employee handbooks and policies, and provides EEO training as needed.

Ms. Ryan also represents management in traditional Labor isues, including providing legal counsel in grievance proceedings, and defending and representing management in labor arbitration proceedings.

Prior to entering law school, Cindy spent several years as a litigation paralegal for a large insurance company based in Boston, Massachusetts.


  • The Florida State University, College of Law – J.D., with High Honors
  • Judicial Intern for The Honorable Stephen H. Grimes, The Supreme Court of Florida
  • The Pennsylvania State University – Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice

Professional Honors & Awards

  • U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers® – Litigation-Labor and Employment (2018-2019) and Employment Law-Management (2017-2019)
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2010; 2012-2019
  • Florida Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers, 2006
  • Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend Magazine, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015
  • Past recipient of New Attorney Award of Excellence from the Orange County Bar Association


  • Admitted to all Florida State Courts
  • Admitted to all Florida Federal Courts – Middle District, Northern District, Southern District, and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Member – Society for Human Resource Members (“SHRM”)
  • Member – Florida Bar Association – Labor & Employment Section
  • Past Chair, Florida Bar Grievance Committee and past Grievance Committee member
  • Past Member – Central Florida Women Lawyers Association
  • Past Member – Florida Bar Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee
  • Past Member – Orange County Bar Association
  • Member – (“GOSHRM”) Greater Orlando SHRM f/k/a Central Florida Human Resource Association
  • Past Member and Graduate, Leadership Orlando (2002)
  • Board Member, The Christian Sharing Center (non-profit business providing essential services to prevent hunger and homelessness)


  • “Are Students in University Externship Programs `Employees’ Under the Fair Labor Standards Act?,” Holland & Knight LLP Newsletter, Employment, Labor and Benefits,; Volume 17, Issue 1; and reprinted in Holland & Knight LLP Newsletter, Education; Vol. 7, Issue 2
  • “Free Speech Violated When Student Election is Cancelled,” Holland & Knight LLP Newsletter, Education; Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • “No Liability for University Officials Who Reasonably Detain and Question Student”, Holland & Knight LLP Newsletter, Education; Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • “Receipt of Federal Financial Assistance Waives Immunity Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Holland & Knight LLP Newsletter, Education; Vol. 4, Issue 4
  • “Court Holds EEOC Accountable,” Holland & Knight LLP Newsletter, Employment, Labor and Benefits; Vol. 13, Issue 3
  • “Training: More than Just a Manual,” Holland & Knight LLP Newsletter Employment (1998); revised reprint in Florida Labor Lawyer with revised co-author, Myrna Galligano

Media Consultant

Cindy has been frequently cited as an authority and expert in various newspaper articles published in The Orlando Sentinel, and which were reprinted in other national outlets. A sampling includes:

  • “Employer Can ask for Training-trip Money Back,” The Orlando Sentinel, December 5, 2007
  • “Grand Juror Can’t be Forced to Make-up Time,” The Orlando Sentinel, April 18, 2007
  • ”Technician May be Due Past OT Pay,” The Orlando Sentinel, July 12, 2006
  • “Opinion by Harry Wessel Workplace: Overtime Pay Hinges on Status as Non-Exempt Salaried Worker,” Arizona Daily Star, July 20, 2006
  • “Adoptive Mom has Rights under Family Medical Leave Act,” The Orlando Sentinel, March 11, 1998 (and reprinted in other publications around the nation)