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John J. Donlon

John J. Donlon

John Donlon is a Bates Consulting and Testifying Expert based in Florida. Mr. Donlon joined Bates after spending over 38 years with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. He is an experienced and innovative financial services professional with US and international banking, securities, and regulatory compliance expertise as well as managerial experience.

While at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, Mr. Donlon served in a variety of legal and compliance positions in the U.S., London and Singapore, including as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and member of a Board of Directors of the Merrill Lynch subsidiary that won the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award. He has had extensive experience in dealing with complex regulatory requirements for broker-dealers and for both U.S. and international banks, and he has dealt with state, federal, and international regulators and agencies on a variety of legal, regulatory, and licensing matters. He has had both a Series 7 (General Securities Representative) and a Series 24 (General Securities Principal) registration.

Mr. Donlon received his B.A. and J.D. from St. John’s University and his LL.M. in Corporation Law, with a focus on securities laws, from NYU School of Law. He later obtained an M.B.A. from Jacksonville University. Mr. Donlon was an adjunct instructor at an ABA-approved law school and in a graduate school of a fully-accredited university. He has also been an arbitrator and an arbitration panel Chairperson for the NASD (now FINRA). He has co-authored articles in both the ACCA (now ACC) Docket and the Florida Bar Journal, and has presented at the NASD (now FINRA) – Wharton compliance training programs and at several bar association panels.

John is a consultant and subject matter expert in these Practice Areas and Services:



Bates Group LLC, Consulting and Testifying Expert, 2019 - Present
Bank of America, Contractor, Florida 2020 – Present
Bank of America, Assistant General Counsel, Florida, 2015 – 2018
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, London & New Jersey, 2006 – 2015; Assistant General Counsel, 2011 – 2015; First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, New Jersey, 2006 – 2011
Merrill Lynch, Florida, New York, & Singapore, 2001 – 2006; First Vice President and General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary, 2004 – 2006; First Vice President, Compliance Counsel, and Manager of Investment Advisory Compliance Group, 2002 – 2004; First Vice President and General Counsel, 2001 – 2002
Merrill Lynch, Florida, London & New York, 1980 -2001; First Vice President and General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, Board Member; Senior Counsel for Banking, Credit, and Sales Practice Compliance, 1991 -1994; Senior Counsel and Manager, 1980 - 1991


Master of Laws (LL.M.), Corporation Law, NYU School of Law, New York, NY
Juris Doctor (JD), St. John’s University, New York, NY
Master of Business Administration (MBA), Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL
Bachelor of Arts (BA), St. John’s University, New York, NY


Previously held Series 24 (General Securities Principal), Series 7 (General Securities Representative


New York (and the federal Districts Courts in the Southern and Eastern Districts of NY)
New Jersey (and federal District Court in NJ)
Arizona (Currently Inactive)
Authorized House Counsel in Florida (Formerly)


  • ACCA Docket (2000): co-author of article on Crisis Management.
  • Florida Bar Journal (1998): co-author of article on Uniform Commercial Code Articles 8 and 9.
  • ABA Business Lawyer: Contributor to the Uniform Commercial Code Annual Survey.


  • Pro bono legal work provided to charitable organizations in New Jersey
  • Adjunct instructor at ABA-approved law school: Banking Law course
  • Adjunct instructor at accredited graduate school: courses in Business Law and in Business Ethics
  • Arbitrator and arbitration panel chair at NASD (now FINRA)
  • Presenter at FINRA-Wharton compliance training and other programs, including state bar panels