Former Assistant U.S. Attorney and First Assistant Attorney General of New Jersey Ricardo Solano Jr. is rejoining Gibbons PC to help launch, lead and build the Newark-based firm’s standalone White Collar & Investigations Group.
In a June 1 press release, Solano, who began his legal career as an associate in Gibbons’ criminal defense practice and later returned as a director for the unit, described his return as “a real homecoming.”
“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,” said Solano.
He went on to say that co-chairing the new practice with longtime Gibbons attorney Lawrence Lustberg “feels like a natural next step, and I look forward to helping direct the White Collar & Investigations Group and ensure its continued growth.”
Until recently, Gibbons’ white collar criminal and investigations practice operated under the administrative umbrella of the Commercial & Criminal Litigation Group. However, the firm decided to establish a separate group to better support and grow what is currently one of its most vibrant practices.
“By spinning off the practice into a full-fledged legal department, Gibbons is providing its white collar defense attorneys the administrative infrastructure and management resources they need to support a practice that is expanding in size and significance to the firm and its clients,” said Gibbons, noting that many of these cases are “often high-profile and precedent setting matters…not only in New Jersey, but throughout the region and nationally.”
“With the wealth of experience he brings back to Gibbons, Ricardo will undoubtedly be a tremendous asset to our new practice group,” remarked Patrick Dunican Jr., Gibbons’ executive chairperson. “We can think of no one more qualified to help lead us in this endeavor.”
“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 & Investigations practice,” said Peter Torcicollo, the firm’s managing director. “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.”
An experienced trial and appellate attorney with a background in white collar criminal and complex commercial litigation matters, as assistant U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, Solano served from 2001-2006 in the Terrorism Unit, Special Prosecutions Division and Appeals Division. There, 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 Food and Drug Administration 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.
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.
His background also includes serving as a partner at Friedman Kaplan Seiler Adelman & Robbins LLP, with a focus on white collar crime and an executive vice president and chief legal officer at CareOne.