Ryan W. Coffield is a Principal at Van Winkle, where he serves as the senior attorney in the firm’s business transactions practice. Ryan focuses his practice on complex mergers and acquisitions transactions and providing general corporate counsel to firm clients. His experience in the areas of corporate and pass-through taxation allows him to provide a valuable, unique perspective on his clients’ legal concerns. While at Van Winkle, Ryan has served as lead counsel on hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of mergers, asset purchases, equity transactions, syndicated real estate offerings, private equity investments, and joint ventures. His work often includes designing tax-advantaged transaction structures, advising clients in the negotiation of deal documents, drafting private offering documents, making federal and state Reg D filings, and providing tax and secured lending opinions. Some of Ryan’s more notable transactions include:

  • Serving as lead counsel to a national medical technology company in a sale of its equity for more than $60 million
  • Advising a local investment group on a multi-stage sale of its holdings of more than $50 million
  • Representing a regional investment company in a two-step merger acquisition valued at more than $20 million
  • Advising multiple local area service providers and professionals in various acquisitions involving tax-advantaged equity rollovers
  • Providing legal counsel in the acquisition of a regional food industry company’s key assets out of bankruptcy proceedings
  • Representing a local manufacturing company in the sale of its assets for more than $20 million
  • Providing counsel to a regional building materials company in the structure and design of a joint venture transaction exceeding $18 million in initial enterprise value
  • Representing a regional agricultural business in a private equity transaction exceeding $25 million
  • Advising minority shareholders of a health services company in an equity sale of more than $25 million
  • Serving as lead counsel to a regional communications company on a tax-free reorganization and related multi-million-dollar investment transaction
  • Providing counsel to commercial real estate developers and investors on more than $50 million of qualified opportunity zone fund projects
  • Advising local manufacturers on tax-advantaged growth strategies, including IC-DISC
  • Ryan is also chair of the firm’s third-party legal opinions committee.

Practice Areas

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers, 2020
  • Super Lawyers, 2020
  • Business North Carolina Magazine, Legal Elite, 2017 & 2022
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Co-Chairperson and Planner, The NCBA Business Law Section and International Law Section Annual Meeting, 2017
  • Biltmore Beacon “40 Under Forty,” Class of 2014
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Co-Chairperson and Planner, The NCBA Basics of Business Law CLE, 2014


  • Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, JD and LL.M. in Taxation
  • University of North Carolina, Bachelor’s Degree in Economics

Professional Affiliations

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • South Carolina State Bar
  • Buncombe County Bar
  • American Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

  • It’s Just Tax, The NCBA Basics of Business Law CLE (2020)
  • 2016 Tax Law Update, NC Bar Association Business Law Institute (Feb 2016)
  • Unemployment Tax: Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program, Employment Course (2015)
  • Keeping It Legal: The Ins and Outs of Nonprofit Law, The Western North Carolina Association of Fundraising Professionals, Philanthropy Institute (2014)
  • Nonprofit Organizations: An Introduction for New Practitioners, The NCBA Basics of Business Law CLE (2014)

A North Carolina native, Ryan grew up in southeast Charlotte and lived in the Triangle for several years before making Asheville his home. Ryan is married to Jessica Coffield, with whom he has two hound dogs. In his free time, Ryan enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, bouldering, pulling for the Atlanta Hawks, and fishing.