UNC hires new chief lawyer

UNC-Chapel Hill has hired a new chief lawyer – Charlotte attorney and UNC alumnus Mark Merritt.

Merritt, a partner at the Charlotte law firm Robinson Bradshaw, will start the job as vice chancellor and general counsel in September at an annual salary of $437,349.

He will succeed David Parker, who is retiring after serving as interim general counsel since January 2015.

Merritt is a trial attorney and current president-elect of the North Carolina State Bar. He is a former Morehead Scholar who graduated from UNC in 1979 and went on to earn a law degree at the University of Virginia, where he was editor of the Law Review.

In his role at UNC, he will provide legal advice to the Board of Trustees, the chancellor, the administration, faculty and staff on legal matters involving the institution, as well as direct outside counsel on all cases and issues.

UNC has had significant legal issues related to the long-running academic and athletic scandal and a federal complaint about the university’s handling of sexual assault cases.