Ryan C. Granholm assists clients with complex compliance and litigation matters involving local, state, and federal environmental rules. He regularly advocates for his clients in a variety of different jurisdictions and venues, from county circuit court, to state administrative agencies, to federal district and appellate courts.

Ryan believes the best lawyers are flexible. He tailors his approach to his clients’ needs and goals—from answering pressing compliance questions to crafting long-term litigation strategies. Employing technical, legal, and negotiation-based approaches, Ryan works with his clients to provide creative yet real-world advice.

  • Experience

    • Ryan represented utility clients in federal appellate court challenges to a Clean Air Act rulemaking. He helped plan and execute challenges to new EPA rules, which required extensive briefing regarding issues of appellate jurisdiction and venue, eventually resulting in a stay of the rules.
    • When Illinois regulators brought an industry-wide enforcement action, Ryan negotiated successfully with agency officials to resolve alleged violations of state standards by his client, a major producer of aggregate and construction materials.
    • Ryan assists with Schiff’s representation of a manufacturing client in a major CERCLA sediment site cleanup. He monitors and provides advice on the many, interconnected aspects of the case including federal bankruptcy proceedings, U.S. EPA enforcement action, state litigation, and political strategy.
    • Ryan represents an Illinois utility in a highly contested state rulemaking proceeding. He develops strategy, drafts written submissions, prepares witness testimony, and participates in public hearings.
    • As part of Schiff’s ongoing representations of a high-profile client and his family, Ryan helped obtain a favorable settlement in commercial arbitration between his client and a former business partner. He assisted with case strategy, investigated the factual record, and prepared witnesses for the arbitration hearing.
  • Credentials


    • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2015, magna cum laude
      Notre Dame Law Review, Articles Editor
      University of Notre Dame, Office of General Counsel, Extern
    • Indiana University, B.A., 2012, with Distinction

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

        Professional Memberships

        • Chicago Bar Association
      • Insights

        Blog Post

        Recent Developments in Toxic Tort & Environmental Law

        American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal

        Blog Post

        Recent Developments in Toxic Tort & Environmental Law

        Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal


        Schiff Hardin Advises Wintrust in Acquisition of First Community Financial Corporation

        Schiff Hardin advised Wintrust Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: WTFC) on the successful completion of its $30 million acquisition of First Community Financial Corporation, the parent company of First Community Bank, an Illinois state-chartered bank.

        Blog Post

        Methane Rule Update

        Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

        Blog Post

        Other Publications

        • “Trump targeting NEPA, NSR in push for energy reform in 2018,” (co-author) The Energy Daily (Jan. 8, 2018)
      • Citizenship

        Pro Bono Activities

        • Represents pro bono client in a hotly contested federal civil rights suit, including leading briefing efforts for cross-motions for summary judgment.
        • In connection with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, handled divorce matters in the Circuit Court of Cook County, as well as benefits disputes before the Social Security Administration.

      Energy and Environmental Law Adviser

      Environmental Regulatory Rollbacks Are No Time for Utilities to Relax

      Continuing reductions in environmental regulations across the power industry may seem like a good time for the C-suite to direct energy and attention towards other key priorities, but there is another force steadily working to tug reform back over the line — highly organized and increasingly strategic NGOs. Because deregulation is antithetical to their policy... Continue Reading