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Merrill M. Mason

Attorney
AA Contact Info

Deborah M. Smith
Phone: 919.838.2110
dmsmith@smithlaw.com

Overview

With extensive experience representing technology and life sciences companies, Merrill Mason represents entrepreneurial and emerging enterprises.

Prior to joining Smith Anderson, Merrill co-founded Triangle-based Hutchison + Mason in 1996 where his leadership helped the firm grow to 20 lawyers specializing in meeting the general corporate needs of technology and life sciences companies.

Passionate about working with developing entrepreneurs and law students, Merrill has taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the University of North Carolina School of Law.

  • Member, Board of Advisers, University of North Carolina School of Law Institute for Innovation
  • Member, Board of Directors, North Carolina Biotechnology Center
  • Member, Triangle Angel Partners II, LLC Executive Committee
  • Member, Triangle Angel Partners I, LLC Executive Committee
  • Member, IDEA Fund Partners Advisory Board
  • Past Member, Board of Directors of Council for Entrepreneurial Development
  • Past Member, Executive Committee of Council for Entrepreneurial Development
  • Past Member, Board of Directors of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation Investment Fund, Inc.
  • Past Member, Board of Directors of A Ban Against Neglect, Inc.
  • Past Chairman, Board of Directors of The Green Chair Project, Inc.
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice; Securities/Capital Markets Law; Venture Capital Law (2007-2020)
  • "Lawyer of the Year," The Best Lawyers in America©, Raleigh Venture Capital Law (2020)
  • Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (Business/Corporate)
  • Recipient of Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for Outstanding Service to Entrepreneurs from the Council for Entrepreneurial Development

News & Publications

News

Speaking Engagements

Events

  • Presenter, "Start-Up Financing," Wolfpack Investor Network Member Meeting, Raleigh, N.C.
    09.30.2019
  • Presenter, "Early Stage Funding Strategies and Term Sheets," Launch Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    09.26.2019
  • Interviewee, "Faculty Guide: Term Sheet Basics," Angel Capital Association Southeast Regional Meeting, Raleigh, N.C.
    09.10.2019
  • Presenter, "Early Stage Funding," CED Accelerate Series, Research Triangle Park, N.C.
    06.27.2019
  • Moderator, "Choosing the Right Investment Partner: Where to Find Funding Sources," Southeast Medtech Forum 2019, Raleigh, N.C.
    05.09.2019
  • Guest Judge, "StartUp UNC," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    05.07.2019
  • Presenter, "Preferred Stock Economics," Carolina Angel Network's Annual Meeting, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    04.11.2019
  • Guest Lecturer, "Legal Issues for Start-Ups," University of North Carolina's Commercial Business Ventures Course, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    04.09.2019
  • Panelist, "Early Stage Funding Strategies and Term Sheets," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School's New Ventures Discovery Course, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    04.05.2019
  • Presenter, "Start-Up Financing 101," HQ Raleigh, Raleigh, N.C.
    03.01.2019
  • Guest Lecturer, "Mock Negotiation Exercises," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Venture Capital Deal Structure Course, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    02.19.2019
  • Presenter, "Early Stage Funding Strategies and Term Sheets," Launch Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    02.12.2019
  • Panelist, "Benefits of Being the First-Check," Seed the South Investor Symposium & Startup Pitch Competition," Charlotte, N.C.
    01.09.2019
  • Guest Judge, "Final Business 500 VenturFine Pitches," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    12.2018
  • Presenter, “Smith Anderson and Start-Ups,” North Carolina State University PackStart Workshop, Raleigh, N.C.
    11.2018
  • Presenter, "Legal Considerations of Starting a Business," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    11.2018
  • Presenter, "Building Relationships Between Experienced Entrepreneurs and Mentors," Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington, Wilmington, N.C.
    08.2018
  • Presenter, "Start-Ups Issues," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School's Startup UNC 4 Class Program, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    05.2018
  • Presenter, "Early Stage Funding," Carolina Angel Network’s Annual Meeting, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    04.2018
  • Presenter, "Legal Issues for Start-Ups," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler, Commercial Business Ventures in the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    04.2018
  • Presenter, "A Lifestyle View From the Partner's Perspective," Duke University School of Law Start-Ups Ventures Clinic, Durham, N.C.
    11.2017
  • Guest Lecturer, "Legal and IP Issues for Start-Ups," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School's Value Creation in a Life Science Startup Course, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    11.2017
  • Presenter, "Early Stage Funding Strategies and Term Sheets," Launch Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    08.2017
  • Presenter, "Legal Issues for Start-Ups," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Startup UNC 4 Class Program, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    05.2017
  • Presenter, "Overview of Investment Terms," Triangle Angel Partners II Meeting, RTP, N.C.
    06.2016
  • Presenter, "PackStart Workshop," NCSU Springboard Innovation Hub, Raleigh, N.C.
    02.2016
  • Presenter, "Top 10 Small Business Legal Issues," NCACPA Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.
    11.2015
  • Presenter, "Early Stage Funding Strategies," University of North Carolina Launch, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    09.2015
  • Presenter, "Legal Issues for Start-Ups," Duke University, Durham, N.C.
    08.2015
  • Presenter, "Legal Issues for Start-Ups," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School's Startup UNC 4 Class Program, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    11.2014
  • Guest Judge, "The Perfect Pitch," HQ Raleigh, Raleigh, N.C.
    11.2014
  • Presenter, "Building an Effective Board of Directors," Office Hours at HQ Raleigh, Raleigh, N.C.
    09.2014
  • Panelist, "Legal Coaching Clinic," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    08.2014
  • Presenter, "Legal Issues for Start-Ups," Elon University's Startup High, Elon, N.C.
    07.2014
  • Guest Lecturer, "Mock Negotiation Exercises," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    03.2014
  • Guest Judge, "3rd Annual Carolina Challenge Pitch Party," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    01.2014
  • Presenter, "Introduction to Entrepreneurship," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    11.2013
  • Guest Judge, "Start-Up Concept Competition," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    10.2013
  • Guest Judge, "Start-Up Contest," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    09.2013
  • Guest Judge, "2013 Start-Up Alley Competition," HQ Raleigh, Raleigh, N.C.
    08.2013
  • Presenter, "Career Connections Program," Cary Academy, Cary, N.C.
    02.2013
  • Presenter, "Legal Issues for Start-Ups," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    02.2013
  • Guest Judge, "Launching the Venture Program," University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    12.2012

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Bar & Court Admissions

  • North Carolina

Education

University of North Carolina, J.D., 1986

University of North Carolina, B.A., 1982

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