WilmerHale announced today that Meredith B. Cross, former Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the SEC, will be rejoining the firm.
“Meredith is a respected colleague and friend and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome her back to the firm,” said Susan Murley, co-managing partner of WilmerHale. “She was a thought leader at the Commission during a crucial time and WilmerHale’s clients will benefit from her direct experience and deep understanding of the regulatory and legal intricacies that public companies face today.”
Ms. Cross said, “I am so proud of all that the Division and the Commission achieved over the last nearly four years. I understand that public companies face significant challenges in interacting with various important stakeholders and regulators and navigating changing regulatory requirements. I am delighted to be rejoining WilmerHale and look forward to working again with my former colleagues in helping clients address the critical issues presented by this complex regulatory environment.”
Ms. Cross served as Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance from June 2009 through the end of 2012. During this time, she led the Division’s efforts to implement both the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection 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.
Ms. Cross implemented many enhancements of the Division’s approach to reviewing registration statements, annual reports and other public company filings, including the establishment of new offices within the Division focused on large financial institutions, structured finance and capital markets trends, and disseminating frequent and timely disclosure guidance from the Division’s staff to public companies. Her tenure also included oversight of the Division staff’s review of some of the most high-profile IPOs in history.
From 1998 to 2009, Ms. Cross was a partner at WilmerHale, and served as co-chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice. Her work at the firm focused on advising clients on corporate and securities matters, and working on the full range of issues faced by public and private companies in capital raising and public reporting.
Before first joining WilmerHale in 1998, Cross served as Deputy Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. 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. Cross joined the SEC staff in 1990, and served the Division in a variety of capacities including Attorney Fellow, Deputy Chief Counsel, Chief Counsel, Associate Director, and Deputy Director.
Cross earned her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Duke University in 1979, and her law degree in 1982 from Vanderbilt University Law School, where she was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review and Order of the Coif. She served as a law clerk to Judge Albert Henderson of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in 1982 and 1983 and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.