Marquis Top Lawyers

Honorable Jeffrey S. Merrifield

Title: Partner
Company: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Location: Davidson, North Carolina, United States

Honorable Jeffrey S. Merrifield, partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in legal services.

With nearly four decades of experience to his credit, Mr. Merrifield has excelled in the field of legal and business consulting. Currently excelling as a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP since 2015, he provides strategic counsel to Terrestrial Energy, newcleo, and General Fusion, and serves as outside counsel and lead advocate for the Fusion Industry Association. His expertise spans nuclear energy, energy transition, and complex energy systems. Prior to this position, he was active as a consultant for The Merrifield Group LLC in 2014, served as senior vice president for global business development at CB&I Power Business Unit from 2012 to 2014, and as a member of the board of directors for U.S. Ecology Corporation from 2007 to 2014. He was also a senior vice president at The Shaw Group Inc. from 2007 to 2012. His extensive career also includes his notable tenure as commissioner of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1988 to 2007. He began his career as a legislative assistant in the United States Senate in 1987 before moving on to roles such as associate at McKenna and Cuneo and counsel and staff director for the subcommittee on superfund and waste control at the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. 

Mr. Merrifield’s involvement in his profession began when he moved to Washington, D.C., in 1986 to work for a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire. On his first day, he was assigned to work on issues related to a nuclear power plant. This initial experience sparked his nearly four-decade-long engagement with nuclear energy. Reflecting on his career, he is particularly proud of testifying on advanced nuclear issues before both the House and the Senate over the past four years. His commitment to clean energy is also evident through his pro bono advisory work for eight NGOs in the sector. Additionally, he has provided valuable guidance to various companies in Canada. During the Fukushima incident, his expertise was sought after to represent the industry and explain the unfolding events. In just a two-week period, he conducted 130 interviews, underscoring his pivotal role in communicating critical information during a nuclear crisis. He also played a pivotal role in leading the 2007 effort for the Energy Production Infrastructure Center at the University of North Carolina. 

Before embarking on his professional path, Mr. Merrifield pursued an education at Tufts University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Bachelor of Arts in history, both in 1985. He continued his academic efforts at Georgetown University Law Center, obtaining a Juris Doctor in environmental law in 1992. In addition to his primary vocation, he serves as chair of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council and is a member of the Strategic Nuclear Advisory Committee for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. In light of his impressive undertakings, he was recognized as a Top 10 Nuclear Regulatory Attorney and was presented with a Presidential Citation by the American Nuclear Society in 2023. Additionally, his firm was named the Most Innovative Law Firm in Energy Transition by The Financial Times in 2023. Looking ahead, he is committed to continuing work on the development and deployment of nuclear fusion technologies and addressing climate change-related issues. He aims to help these technologies and the groups that support them to adopt solutions that will have a meaningful impact on global climate change. He advises fellow professionals and aspiring individuals to remain open to new ideas, continuously learn about emerging technologies and focus areas, and be adaptable. 

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