Andrew E. Silvia is a Boston litigation attorney whose practice focuses on representing employers in all aspects of labor and employment litigation. Mr. Silvia has significant experience defending claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; wage-and-hour class actions and individual lawsuits; and breach-of-contract and wrongful-termination cases. Mr. Silvia frequently assists clients with unfair-competition, trade secret and restrictive covenant matters, including by pursuing, defending or resolving cases involving breach or potential breach of noncompetition, nonsolicitation or confidentiality obligations. Mr. Silvia's traditional labor practice includes advising employers regarding union organization efforts and collective bargaining, and defending unfair labor practice charges.

Mr. Silvia represents businesses in employment litigation matters from the inception of the dispute all the way through appeals. He has experience advising clients on which cases to resolve and which to fight through hearing or trial. Mr. Silvia tailors his strategy in each litigation matter to the particulars of the case as well as the client's specific needs and objectives.

In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Silvia regularly counsels employers of all sizes regarding employment policies and compliance with federal, state and local employment laws. He frequently drafts and revises employee handbooks and employer policies; prepares employment and restrictive covenant agreements, including confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements; and negotiates and drafts separation agreements. Mr. Silvia also advises clients on day-to-day personnel issues, including family and medical leave, disability accommodations, employee discipline and corrective actions, performance management and terminations. He has experience guiding employers through conducting mass layoffs and reductions in force, as well as high-risk individual separations.

Mr. Silvia represents clients of varying sizes across a wide range of industries, from small technology startups to multinational public corporations. As a member of Holland & Knight's Education Team, he has substantial experience representing educational institutions on labor, employment and other issues. He also works with the firm's Family Offices Group, advising high-net-worth families and family offices regarding employment law issues. As a member of the Emerging Companies Team, Mr. Silvia has significant experience guiding new and growing businesses in developing employment policies, retaining employees and independent contractors, protecting intellectual property (IP) through restrictive covenant agreements, reducing risk of employment-related claims and resolving or litigating any disputes that arise, including with founders and other high-level executives. Mr. Silvia also works closely with many private equity clients to assist with labor and employment issues, including separations, reductions in force, changes in executive leadership and other employment issues that arise in connection with the purchase, sale or management of portfolio companies.

Mr. Silvia has handled cases in Massachusetts and Rhode Island state and federal courts, including on appeal to U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and before administrative agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) and Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (RICHR). 

In 2023, Mr. Silvia was selected to participate in Boston’s Future Leaders, a leadership development program hosted by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Harvard Business School for emerging and promising leaders in the Boston region. And in 2024, Mr. Silvia was named to The Best Lawyers in America guide for Litigation – Labor and Employment.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Silvia practiced for several years at an international labor and employment law firm. Before that, he held a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Michael A. Silverstein on the Rhode Island Superior Court business calendar. While in law school, Mr. Silvia served as an editor of the Suffolk University Law Review.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of employers in numerous recent federal court cases in which current or former employees alleged discrimination based on race, gender, disability or other protected categories, including cases in which employees claimed harassment or hostile work environment, failure to accommodate, failure to promote, disparate treatment and retaliation; and prevailed on appeal of those decisions, including to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

  • Represents employers seeking to enforce restrictive covenants and other post-employment obligations against departing employees; represents subsequent employers alleged to have been involved in or benefitted from an employee's alleged violation of obligations to a former employer; and has the necessary skills and experience to quickly and aggressively litigate these issues, or when appropriate, negotiate fair and reasonable solutions

  • Litigated, defended and resolved wage-and-hour class actions based on alleged failure to compensate for travel time and meal breaks, failure to reimburse business expenses, minimum wage violations and misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime

  • Prevailed on motions to compel arbitration in multiple cases, including compelling individual arbitration of attempted wage-and-hour class actions based on alleged misclassification of independent contractors

  • Secured countless lack-of-probable-cause findings and dismissals of cases at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of employers facing claims of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, and has had several of those findings affirmed on appeal

  • Assists employers with negotiating complicated and high-risk executive separations, including in situations involving potential claims against the executive, claims threatened by the executive against the company and other sensitive issues


  • Suffolk University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
  • The George Washington University, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island
  • All State Courts in Massachusetts
  • All State Courts in Rhode Island
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2024
  • Boston's Future Leaders, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, 2023


Speaking Engagements