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Merritt Cole has extensive experience in securities and corporate law matters, including public and private securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investments and control contests, Securities and Exchange Commission reporting and compliance and corporate governance.  He represents a broad range of business clients, including development-stage companies, publicly-held companies and financial institutions, such as broker-dealers, investment advisers and banks.  He devotes a substantial portion of his time to counseling boards of directors, audit committees and compensation committees on Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank and other corporate and regulatory matters. Merritt also serves as an expert witness in securities proceedings.

Before entering private practice, Merritt worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., where he served as a Branch Chief in the Division of Market Regulation. 

Merritt taught Securities Regulation at Drexel University's Earle Mack School of Law in the Spring 2013. He has also taught Advanced Corporate Practice and Securities Regulation at Rutgers School of Law and Advanced Topics in Securities Regulation at Temple University Law School.  He also lectures frequently on securities law matters and has served as an arbitrator in securities proceedings. 

While in law school, Merritt was Associate Editor of the Law Review.

Throughout his career, Merritt is has been involved in many legal and business organizations, often in senior leadership positions. He serves on the Planning Committee of the American Bar Association's Annual Business Bar Leaders Conference. He is a former chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Business Law Section and former Chair of that section's Securities Regulation Committee. Merritt is also a member of the Pennsylvania Securities Commission's Attorney Advisory Committee and a member of the Pennsylvania Business Lawyers Institute's Advisory Panel.

Merritt has been rated AV® Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system.


  • University of Connecticut School of Law, JD, with honors
  • Yale University, BA, cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions:

  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association; Business Law Section
  • Association of SEC Alumni
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association; Business Law Section
  • Pennsylvania Securities Commission Attorney Advisory Committee
  • Philadelphia Bar Association; Business Law Section

Community Involvement has included:

  • Steering Committee of Law Works, the pro bono community business arm of Philadelphia VIP
  • Habitat for Humanity in its housing renovation efforts in Camden, NJ.


  • Rule 506 “Bad Actor” Disqualification: SEC Issues Small Entity Compliance Guide White and Williams Securities Alert September 23, 2013
  • General Solicitation and (Public) Private Placements: Navigating the Minefield Planted by New and Proposed SEC Rules White and Williams Securities Alert September 11, 2013
  • “Open Season” on the Accredited Investor Standard: GAO Recommends Alternative Criteria White and Williams Securities Alert July 22, 2013
  • SEC Repeals Ban on General Solicitation and Proposes Significant Changes to Rule 506 Offerings Securities News Alert July 15, 2013
  • Secondary Trading in Privately Held Companies: Private Placement of Securities - Intermediate and Advanced Topics October 4, 2011
  • Developments in China Set Stage for Increase in Investment in the United States February 2010

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