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 Silvia's past cases, see News.
Silvia brings over twenty-five years of experience to each of her cases, which includes practicing 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. As an AUSA, 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. 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: Women New York – Metro Super Lawyers annually since 2018
- New York Metro Super Lawyer annually since 2015
- Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers annually since 2014
- America’s Top 100 Attorneys annually 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
- New York City Bar Association
Publications & Lectures
- Presenter: The Dirty Secret: It's Easy to Start & Run Your Own Law Firm, Lawline CLE (2021)
- 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
Silvia's qualifications and knowledge is superior; she does not miss a beat. She is honest and on point with everything and makes you feel comfortable the whole way, regardless of the temperature of the situation.
Silvia and her former law partner 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. The team was always available, responsive and insightful. They were 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.
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 former law partner 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 for her deep knowledge, compassion, dedication, and willingness to put extra effort to fight for her clients.
During a time in my life when it seemed as if the walls were closing in on me, Silvia Serpe 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 displayed in handling me, and my complex case.
From my first meeting to the last interview with the Government, it couldn't have gone better. Silvia and her former law partner 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.
Silvia & her former law partner 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.
From the moment I retained Silvia, I knew that I was in the best hands. She offered exceptional counsel and was always available to take my calls, answer questions, ease concerns and offered me peace of mind throughout the process. She is tough, highly effective, and extremely compassionate. I felt lucky and very confident with her representation.
I had the distinct pleasure and privilege to work with and learn from Silvia Serpe. Anytime I am involved in a complicated legal case I seek her guidance, which is indispensable to me and has allowed me to grow professionally.
Both Silvia Serpe and her former law partner were highly responsive, proactive and thoughtful from our very first meeting throughout the entire process. They always dug in to ensure they fully understood my needs, gave me the best opportunity for success and made me feel like their most important client. I highly recommend Silvia, and her team and have the utmost respect for their work and advice!