Meredith B. Cross

Meredith Cross is a partner in the Transactional and Securities Departments, and a member of the Corporate Practice and Strategic Response Group. Ms. Cross joined WilmerHale in 1998 after serving as Chief Counsel and Deputy Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. She later served as Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance from 2009 to 2013 before rejoining the firm. Ms. Cross advises public companies and their boards on disclosure and other corporate finance securities law and corporate governance matters. She handles matters for companies with the SEC, including no-action letters, financial statement waiver requests, and disclosure and financial statement reviews by staff of the Division of Corporation Finance, as well as SEC enforcement matters involving corporate finance issues. Representing clients in corporate and securities matters, she has experience with the full range of issues faced by public and private companies in capital raising and public reporting.


Ms. Cross's practice is primarily focused on advising public companies on corporate finance securities law matters, including disclosure and other requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as the requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. She also serves as issuer's counsel and underwriters' counsel in public and private offerings of debt and equity securities. Learn more about Ms. Cross' practice and how she can support your startup on

While serving as the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the SEC, Ms. Cross led the Division's efforts to implement both the Dodd-Frank Act and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Under her leadership, the Division recommended close to 60 rulemaking releases to the Commission, including those relating to say-on-pay, conflict minerals, proxy access, compensation committees and compensation advisers, asset-backed securities, and the new regulatory regime for derivatives. Ms. Cross also guided the Division's pragmatic response to numerous issues relating to the IPO "on-ramp" provisions of the JOBS Act. During her tenure, Ms. Cross testified before Congress numerous times on a broad range of issues including corporate governance, capital formation, risk retention in asset-backed securities offerings, executive compensation oversight, and agency management and budget.

During her prior SEC tenure, she was involved with a number of corporate finance rulemakings, including changes to shelf registration, electronic delivery of prospectuses and other information to investors, the plain English initiatives, limited partnership roll-up rules, and small issue exemptions from registration and reporting. Before becoming Deputy Director, Ms. Cross served as Associate Director of the Division's sections on International Corporate Finance and Small Business. In the international area, she played a key role in the ongoing development of international disclosure and accounting standards for use in cross-border offerings. Ms. Cross also previously served as the Division's Chief Counsel. As Chief Counsel, she was responsible for no-action letters and legal interpretations in the Division on a wide range of matters, including Rule 144, Section 16, registration of employee benefit plans and exemptions from registration and reporting.

Professional Activities

Ms. Cross currently serves as Chair of the Securities Regulation Institute and as Co-Chair of the Practicing Law Institute’s Annual Institute on Securities Regulation. She is also a frequent speaker at securities law conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association and the American Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals.

Ms. Cross is a member of the SEC Institute Advisory Committee and the Board of Governors of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. She was a member of the ABA Corporate Laws Committee from 2013–2015.

  • 51st Annual Institute on Securities Regulation

    Meredith Cross will co-chair the Practicing Law Institute's 51st Annual Institute on Securities Regulation event, bringing together the nation’s leaders in securities and corporate law to deliver practical insights and real-word solutions to the challenges facing you and your clients today.

    November 4–6, 2019
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  • Recommended in the 2016–2018 editions of The Legal 500 United States for her M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Corporate Governance practice
  • Recognized for her exceptional securities practice in the 2006–2009 and 2014–2020 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, with sources saying she is "a very deep subject matter expert who has the ability to communicate effectively and produce common-sense, practical and actionable recommendations"
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 20052020 editions of Best Lawyers in America for securities and capital markets law. Named by Best Lawyers as Washington DC Securities/Capital Markets "Lawyer of the Year" in 2017. 
  • Named a Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel in 2015
  • Recipient of the 2014 Linda Quinn Lifetime Achievement Award by
  • Named to the NACD Directorship 100, A Who's Who of the American Corporate Governance Community, in 2010
  • Recognized as a Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2003

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Vanderbilt University Law School, 1982

      Order of the Coif, Vanderbilt Law Review
    • BA, Duke University, 1979

      cum laude
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Albert J. Henderson, US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit