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Silvia L. Serpe


Silvia L. Serpe is a seasoned litigator and an effective criminal and government enforcement defense lawyer. She has successfully tried numerous cases in a wide variety of forums. One such high profile case involved insider trading, which was a rare win against the SEC in its home court that 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 one case covered by the New York Times, Serpe Ryan’s client was the only defendant to be 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, where 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.

Before 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.

Silvia is a passionate and dedicated advocate for all of her clients and provides them with hands-on and sensible advice.


Silvia graduated cum laude from Cornell Law School, where she served as a Note Editor for the Cornell Law Review. Before law school, she received her B.A. in Government from Cornell University, where she graduated magna cum laude, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.


Silvia has been recognized as a New York Metro Super Lawyer every year since 2015, and was chosen as a Top 50: 2018 Women New York – Metro Super Lawyers. She has also been selected as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers since 2014 and America’s Top 100 Attorneys since 2014, and in 2018 was selected as one of the 10 Best Criminal Law Attorneys by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.

Professional Associations

Silvia is a member of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on White Collar Criminal Litigation, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Federal Bar Council, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is a Founders Circle Sponsor of Women Owned Law, as well as an active member of the national Women’s White Collar Defense Association, and the NYCBA’s Women in the Legal Profession: White Collar Crime Subcommittee.

Publications & Lectures

Panelist: Trial Advocacy Training by the Federal Bar Council (2018)

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).


Silvia is admitted to practice in New York, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.



  • J.D., Cornell Law School,
    cum laude, Note Editor for the
    Cornell Law Review
  • B.A., Cornell University,
    magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


  • 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


The Honorable Sidney H. Stein, United States District Court, S.D.N.Y.


Silvia L. Serpe
Selected In SELECTED IN 2015