The Honorable Stephen E. Merrill, the former governor and attorney general of the State of New Hampshire, is president of Bingham Consulting Group and of the counsel at Bingham McCutchen.
Stephen Merrill was born in Norwich, CT. He attended the University of New Hampshire, earning a Bachelor of Arts and graduating manga cum laude in 1969. While participating in the Air Force ROTC program, he was selected as cadet colonel and earned the coveted Presidential Saber award. Stephen Merrill was honored at UNH with membership in Phi Beta Kappa and recognition as a Ford Foundation Scholar. He received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1972.
Stephen Merrill was commissioned and served in the United States Air Force as a lawyer from 1972-1976. For two years he served as a legal counsel to the Secretary of the Air Force and one year as a special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. He served the USAF with distinction for those years and left military service with the rank of captain.
Stephen Merrill practiced law in Manchester from 1976-1984. He served as legal counsel to former Governor John Sununu, and eventually became his chief and staff. Following these assignments, he worked with several agencies, and then entered the 1992 Republican gubernatorial primary. He won election for governor on his first try at state office and was subsequently reelected. The Honorable Stephen Merrill got full credit in national and state media for fiscal responsibility. He was twice selected as the “most fiscally responsible governor in America” by the Wall Street Journal/CATO Institute, the only governor to receive the award more than once. As governor, he received more votes than any candidate for any office in the state’s history, yet he voluntarily retired from politics with a 70 percent popularity rating to build a state government consulting firm.
Stephen Merrill is currently president of Bingham Consulting Group and of counsel at Bingham McCutchen. He has 25 years of experience in the practice of law, in private practice and as attorney general where he administered the state’s largest law firm. He has spoken widely about the growing influence of governors, attorneys general and state legislatures in defining the prevailing regulatory and legal issues confronting the business community. He is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association and President of the Former Governor’s Association.
The Honorable Stephen Merrill is the recipient of honorary academic degrees, including doctorates for civic and educational achievements. He received the “Distinguished Citizen of the Year” award form New Hampshire’s Daniel Webster Council.