Mr. Ridgway has been recognized as a leading lawyer for crisis management, cybersecurity,
data security incidents and high-stakes white collar matters by several industry outlets. He
regularly leads the defense of investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice,
the Securities and Exchange Commission, state attorneys general and other U.S. and foreign
regulators. These investigations frequently involve matters related to cybersecurity and data
breaches, financial fraud, trade secret theft, public corruption, antitrust violations, market
manipulation (including spoofing) and the False Claims Act.
Mr. Ridgway has led the incident response and associated investigations for some of the
most high-profile cybersecurity incidents in recent years, and his clients include financial
institutions; technology, energy, insurance and health care companies; defense contractors;
data brokers; and e-commerce retailers. He also is often retained to lead privacy and data
security and technology class actions and litigations around the country.
Mr. Ridgway’s experience includes:
- Data breach and ransomware response — advising Fortune 50 and other global companies
in responding to ransomware attacks and other major cyber incidents
- Government enforcement matters — representing businesses, their boards and executives in government investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by a range of U.S. and foreign agencies and regulators
- Data privacy and technology litigation — defending companies in class action litigation
related to cybersecurity incidents and other data privacy matters, which frequently involve
complex and multijurisdictional issues
- Internal investigations — conducting sensitive, complex internal investigations, enabling
companies to take strategic action to manage crises, avoid regulatory actions and limit
legal and reputational exposure
- Trials and arbitrations — representing businesses and executives in high-stakes trials and
- Compliance and risk assessments — conducting compliance and risk assessments on
behalf of global firms, in addition to advising these clients on cybersecurity incidents, data
privacy and artificial intelligence issues
- Crisis incident simulation and training — providing various crisis incident simulations
and tabletop exercises for members of executive teams of international companies
In recognition of his work, Mr. Ridgway has been ranked as one of the top lawyers for cybersecurity and white collar matters globally. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and was named to Cybersecurity Docket’s 2023 Incident Response 50 as one of the “50 best data breach response lawyers in the business” and to its 2022 Incident Response 40 list. He also has been selected to Global Investigations Review’s 40 Under 40 list of the world’s leading investigations lawyers and as one of Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Global Litigators and 500 Leading Lawyers in America. In addition, Chambers USA has repeatedly recognized Mr. Ridgway in its rankings and noted he is “increasingly called upon to represent clients in high-stakes white-collar proceedings, regularly handling complex investigations and cybersecurity matters.” Clients in Chambers also commented that Mr. Ridgway is an “effective advocate who can be trusted with sensitive matters,” is “so smart, so creative and incredible on his feet” and that he “is detail-oriented, a phenomenal writer and is excellent in court.” Additionally, he was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ 2023 Notable Litigators and Trial Attorneys and to its 2021 list of Notable Gen X Leaders in Law.
Prior to joining Skadden, Mr. Ridgway was an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois,
where he served as the deputy chief of the National Security and
Cybercrimes Section. In this role, he oversaw and managed all of
the office’s cybercrime, data breach and intellectual property cases.
During this time, Mr. Ridgway also held the positions of national
security cyber specialist, computer hacking and intellectual property
coordinator, and digital currency coordinator, handling cryptocurrency-related matters.
In his eight years as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Ridgway tried many
cases and handled a wide range of high-profile cybercrime and intellectual property matters, including the prosecution of an international cybercrime ring responsible for stealing over $100 million, as
well as prosecutions of the leaders of two prominent hacking groups
for hundreds of cyberattacks that targeted businesses, nonprofits
and government bodies around the globe. Mr. Ridgway also led
the prosecution of the operators of one of the world’s largest online
Mr. Ridgway has received many awards and recognition throughout his career, including the Director’s Award for Superior Performance from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys for prosecuting an international racketeering enterprise (2015) and the Chicago Crime Commission’s Stars of Distinction Award for the prosecution of criminal enterprises operating in Chicago (2009 and 2010). In addition, he was selected as a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow in its 2017 class.
Mr. Ridgway has been a lecturer at University of Chicago Law School since 2011, where he teaches a class on cybercrime.