Ryan , Karen

Karen Ryan began with the Firm in 2000 as a Summer Associate and is an integral part of the legal team that serves as General Counsel to the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA). Ryan also has represented the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, the Osceola County Expressway Authority and, most recently, Jacksonville Transportation Authority.

Ryan’s primary area of concentration is public construction, with a heavy focus on public infrastructure and transportation projects that range in value from hundreds of million to several billion of dollars. Her experience includes analysis of procurement strategies and project delivery methods, including design-build, design-build-operate-maintain and construction management, drafting procurement policies, procedures, solicitation documents and contracts, analyzing insurance provisions, bond coverage, risk exposure and compliance. She is often actively involved throughout the entire life cycle of a project, from initial pre-procurement program planning through project close-out, including claims management and litigation.

Ryan is currently assisting GOAA with its multi-billion dollar capital improvement program, which involves a variety of funding sources, including TSA, FAA AIP, PFC and ARRA funds, as well as state and local funding. She works closely with the Construction Committee, the Professional Services Committee and Aviation Authority staff in developing the Authority’s procurement strategies, policies and procedures, advising staff and consultants, drafting standard procurement forms and contract terms and conditions, as well as project specific contracts and forms for a variety of project delivery methods.

She also recently handled a “peer review” and revision to the procurement policies, documents and contracts on Columbia International Airport’s current expansion project, including a CONRAC project on a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) delivery method.

Ryan is intimately familiar with the nuances of federal, state and local procurement laws and regulations, including DBE and MWBE policies, and has analyzed and resolved countless procurement issues, as well as public records, conflicts of interest and government-in-the-sunshine issues.

Ryan also has assisted many private sector clients with procurement and contract tissues, including analysis of public-private partnership arrangements, such high speed rail and possible bid protest issues.

Ryan co-authored a legal article for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) titled “Procurement of Airport Planning and Development Projects,” which provides a framework for analyzing the application of various federal requirements that apply to airport construction projects that receive federal funding, including FAA grants, such as AIP funding, TSA grants and Other Transaction (“OTA”) funding, as well as PFC funding.

Ryan prepared a presentation to the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) last summer that outlined the competitive procurement requirements for construction services, professional services and procurement of equipment and explains the various exceptions from the procurement requirements.

In addition to her proficiency regarding the FAA and TSA regulations, Ryan has also recently advised clients on Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations.

Ryan is active in various community and professional organizations.

Bar Membership



University of Florida Levin College of Law
Gainesville, Florida, 2001
J.D., Juris Doctor

University of South Florida
St. Petersburg, Florida, 1997
B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude


The Florida Bar

Montverde Academy
Parents Association and Booster Club

“Procurement of Airport Planning & Development Projects”