Highly regarded Solano returning to Gibbons P.C.

Former AUSA, 1st asst. N.J. attorney general will co-chair firm’s now-standalone White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice

Ricardo Solano Jr., the well-known, highly regarded leader in the white-collar defense space in New Jersey who previously served in both the United States Attorney’s Office and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, is returning to Gibbons P.C., the firm will announce Thursday.

Solano will help launch, lead and build the firm’s newly standalone White Collar & Investigations Group — a group he will co-chair with longtime Gibbons attorney Lawrence Lustberg.

It’s the third stop at Gibbons for Solano, who began his legal career as an associate in the Criminal Defense practice and later returned as a director in that practice. He begins his new role Thursday.

Case history

Ricardo Solano Jr., the well-known, highly regarded leader in the white-collar defense space in New Jersey who previously served in both the United States Attorney’s Office and the New Jersey Office of Attorney General, is returning to Gibbons P.C. Here are few of his most notable cases:

  • The representation of a former executive of a major commercial bank in connection with parallel Department of Justice and state criminal investigations and related civil proceedings alleging violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and money laundering statutes, which resulted in no criminal charges.
  • The representation of the former general counsel of a publicly traded technology company in parallel DOJ and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations regarding alleged improper accounting and securities laws violations, which resulted in a favorable settlement with the SEC and no criminal charges.
  • The representation of a major financial services company in a five-month jury trial defending against claims of racketeering, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition totaling $1 billion loss, which resulted in dismissal of the plaintiffs’ racketeering claims after the close of evidence and a favorable settlement during deliberations.
  • The representation of the state of New Jersey and Gov. Phil Murphy in connection with litigation alleging defamation and retaliatory discharge by former assistant commissioner of a state department.
  • His representation of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in connection with the investigation conducted by New Jersey Governor’s Task Force on Tax Incentives.
  • The representation of a senior executive of a major pharmaceutical company in connection with investigations by the DOJ, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and the SEC regarding alleged anti-kickback and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, which resulted in no criminal or administrative charges.
  • The successful prosecution, as a federal prosecutor, after a five-week jury trial, of seven defendants accused of terrorizing and interstate stalking dozens of victims throughout the country and coordinating their “campaigns” through the internet and social media.

“This is a real homecoming for me,” he said. “At various points over the past two decades, I have worked at Gibbons as a summer associate, associate and director, and I have worked with Gibbons attorneys as colleagues, adversaries and co-counsel.”

“Taking on a co-chair role at the firm feels like a natural next step, and I look forward to helping direct the White Collar & Investigations Group and ensure its continued growth.”

An experienced trial and appellate attorney with a distinguished background in white-collar criminal and complex commercial litigation matters, Solano served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey from 2001-2006 in the Terrorism Unit, Special Prosecutions Division and Appeals Division.

In these roles, he conducted grand jury investigations and prosecuted cases concerning federal anti-corruption and bribery statute offenses; accounting, financial, mail and wire fraud; tax evasion; and FDA and export control violations. He also argued criminal appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

In 2008, Solano was appointed as New Jersey’s first assistant attorney general under then-Attorney General Anne Milgram, who is now administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. In that role, he oversaw the Divisions of Criminal Justice, Law, Consumer Affairs and Gaming Enforcement, participating in case reviews, developing litigation strategy for criminal investigations, affirmative civil litigation and civil defense matters and handling various administrative and management responsibilities for the office.

Gibbons Managing Director Peter Torcicollo obviously is thrilled to have Solano back with the firm.

“It’s a bit of a ‘Back to the Future’ moment for us here at Gibbons, and we’re thrilled to have Ricardo back as we restructure our litigation practices to reestablish the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice,” he said. “He will play a vital leadership role and further enhance the firm’s outstanding reputation in this area, positioning Gibbons to expand the practice’s scope, reach and talent bench.”

Solano’s ascent in the law is inspiring and marked by extraordinary accomplishment. Raised by a single mother in Paterson, he earned a B.A. from New York University and, as the first in his family to pursue a legal career, a J.D., summa cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law, which honored him with its 2018 Exemplary Service Award for his unwavering commitment as an alumnus and adjunct professor.

Solano clerked for the Hon. Maryanne Trump Barry of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Hon. Deborah T. Poritz of the New Jersey Supreme Court before becoming an associate at Gibbons. More recently, he was a partner at Friedman Kaplan Seiler Adelman & Robbins LLP, with a focus on white-collar crime. Solano later joined the Straus Group, a private investment family firm in Fort Lee, and CareOne, a nationwide health care continuum with annual revenues in excess of $1 billion that operates more than 70 post-acute nursing and assisted living facilities, long-term acute care hospitals, hospice providers and a long-term care pharmacy company, as its chief legal officer.

Admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, Solano is currently president of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey and is a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey.