Silvia L. Serpe
Silvia L. Serpe is a seasoned litigator and an effective criminal and government enforcement defense lawyer who has successfully tried numerous cases in a variety of forums. She secured a rare win against the SEC in a high-profile case involving insider trading, which was covered by the Wall Street Journal. Based on the strength of the trial evidence, the Commission later affirmed the decision. In its coverage of the Commission’s decision, the New York Times noted that the win on appeal “marked a rare loss” for the SEC.
In her civil practice, Silvia aggressively advocates on behalf of her clients. In a case covered by the New York Times, her client was the sole defendant dismissed from a major art fraud case prior to trial. For more press coverage of Serpe Ryan’s cases, see News.
Before co-founding Serpe Ryan LLP, Silvia had a diverse practice in both the government and private sector. For five years, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She represented the United States in a variety of defensive and affirmative civil litigation, including civil rights disputes, statutory and constitutional challenges, employment discrimination, health care fraud, environmental disputes, and complex tax disputes. As an AUSA, she also investigated and prosecuted businesses for violations of various federal statutes.
Prior to serving in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Silvia spent several years in private practice. She began her career as a litigator with Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she was a key member of three trial teams. She later honed her trial advocacy and negotiation skills at a small litigation and white-collar criminal defense boutique firm in New York. She also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sidney H. Stein of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
A hands-on advisor and skilled litigator, Silvia is a passionate and dedicated advocate on behalf of her clients.
- Top 50: 2018 Women New York – Metro Super Lawyers
- New York Metro Super Lawyer annually since 2015
- Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers since 2014
- America’s Top 100 Attorneys since 2014
- 10 Best Criminal Law Attorneys by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, 2018
- New York Council of Defense Lawyers
- The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on White Collar Criminal Litigation
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Women-Owned Law, Founders Circle Sponsor
- Women’s White Collar Defense Association
- New York City Bar Association’s Women in the Legal Profession: White Collar Crime Subcommittee
- Federal Bar Council
- Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Publications & Lectures
- Panelist: Trial Advocacy Training by the Federal Bar Council (2018, 2019)
- Presenter: Recent Developments in Insider Trading Law (2016)
- Presenter: SEC Administrative Proceedings: Winning on the SEC’s Home Court (2016)
- Panelist: Insider Trading: New Developments (2015)
- Panelist: Collections and the Enforcement of Money Judgments, NYSBA CLE (2010, 2011).
- Contributing Author: Defending Federal Criminal Cases: Attacking the Government’s Proof (Diana D. Parker, ed., 2007 – 2011).
- J.D., Cornell Law School, cum laude, Note Editor for the Cornell Law Review
- B.A., Cornell University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- The Honorable Sidney H. Stein, United States District Court, S.D.N.Y.
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
I met Silvia at the most difficult moment of my life - I was prosecuted by the federal government and the SEC for insider trading. Silvia and her partner Paul worked as a team to represent me for both criminal and civil cases with the SEC. They negotiated with the SEC to reduce the size of my fine. During sentencing, Silvia also helped me to negotiate better terms of my supervised release. I highly recommend Silvia and Paul, for their deep knowledge, compassion, dedication, and willingness to put extra effort to fight for their clients.
Paul & Silvia were relentless in their well-researched, well-constructed, and well-delivered presentation of my case. In the end, they were able to get the insurance company to write a check for more money than I ever thought possible. They are smart, direct, available, honest, and compassionate...and they have earned my highest recommendation.
During a time in my life when it seemed as if the walls were closing in on me, Silvia Serpe and Paul Ryan settled me down and lifted me up and then skillfully guided me back to a better place. I cannot say enough about the professionalism and compassion these two amazing attorneys displayed in handling me, and my complex case.
Silvia Serpe has represented my company, Kaleidoscope Learning, for over a decade. She's thoughtful, responsive, and we always feel that we get tremendous value from the time that Silvia spends working with us--she sees things from a big-picture perspective and helps us think through our ideal results in any particular situation.
Serpe Ryan is an excellent law firm with exceptional attorneys. I engaged them on a complex matter and they handled it successfully and efficiently. They are seasoned litigators with a broad range of expertise and I would not hesitate to work with them again.
Paul W. Ryan is courteous and a tenacious fighter. I felt like a high priority to him through our experience. He is well versed and gave very good advice. He was also a bulldog when it was necessary. I HIGHLY recommend this firm.
Paul Ryan and the Serpe Ryan team helped me through a very emotional multifaceted case. I truly felt they believed in me and my integrity and helped me practice patience through a long, frustrating process. Paul was always available, responsive and insightful. Serpe Ryan is professional, accommodating, direct, and did a masterful job orchestrating the lawsuit.
Ms. Serpe's high level of professionalism is exceeded by her keen and quick mind. She does not hesitate to tell you where you stand, patient in discussing the practical implications of the legalities swirling around you, and her sincerity shows in walking you through your options. I would not hesitate to recommend her for your needs and for you to follow her directions. The path she sets for you will help lead you out of whatever unfortunate circumstance you might find yourself.
The law firm of Serpe Ryan LLP was obtained for me by my employer. From my first meeting to the last interview with the Government, it couldn't have gone better. Both Paul and Silvia were professional and knowledgeable; they prepared me for my meetings with such ease and expertise. They made a very unique experience as pleasant as possible.
I came to Serpe Ryan LLP regarding a legal dispute around a complex financial dispute and little hope of ever recovering what was owed to me. The team quickly came to understand the matter, the opposing party, and worked with me in a highly responsive manner to far exceed the outcome I had expected. Serpe Ryan LLP offers both the high talent of a white-shoe firm alongside the practicality and responsiveness that comes with working with a boutique practice.