Merritt A. Cole

Merritt Cole represents clients in securities and corporate matters, including transactional matters, SEC reporting and compliance and corporate governance.

Merritt A. Cole


Merritt Cole is Chair of the Securities Law Practice Group and Counsel at Earp Cohn P.C., which he joined in 2014. He has extensive experience in securities and corporate law matters, including transactional matters (public and private securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investments and control contests), SEC reporting and compliance, corporate governance and business counseling. Mr. Cole has represented a broad range of business clients, ranging from development-stage companies to publicly-held companies and financial institutions, including broker-dealers, investment advisors and banks.

Mr. Cole has represented businesses and individuals in enforcement actions brought by the SEC, state securities commissions, stock exchanges and FINRA. He has represented both broker-dealers and customers in securities arbitrations. He lectures frequently on securities law matters and has served as an expert witness and arbitrator in legal proceedings.

Before entering private practice, Mr. Cole worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., where he served as a Branch Chief in the Division of Market Regulation. Prior to moving to Philadelphia in the 1980’s, he practiced with Shearman & Sterling in New York City.

In June 2016, Mr. Cole was honored by being admitted to The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

Mr. Cole has held additional senior leadership positions in many professional organizations. He has served as Chairman of the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association and for many years served on the Executive Committee of the Section. Mr. Cole also served as Chair of the Securities Regulation Committee of the Business Law Section. He served as a member of the Attorney Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Securities Commission (until merged as the PA Department of Banking and Securities). Mr. Cole has taught Securities Regulation courses in three law schools and has taught Advanced Corporate Practice at Rutgers School of Law and Advanced Topics in Securities Regulation at Temple University School of Law.

Mr. Cole is rated AV Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system. He has been quoted in the New York Times and The Legal Intelligencer and interviewed by Financier Worldwide, Smart Business and The

Merritt A. Cole


J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law, with honors; Associate Editor of the Law Review.
B.A., Yale University, cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions

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

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

Professional Activities:

  • Chair of the State and Local Bar Relations Committee of the ABA’s Business Law Section (2015 – 2018)
  • Chair of the Planning Committee for the ABA’s 2016 Annual Business Bar Leaders Conference (Chicago, May 2016)
  • Adjunct Professor, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, where he teaches Securities Regulation (Spring 2012 – 2017).
  • Chair of the Advisory Board of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Business Law Section.