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Nikole Setzler Mergo

Member, Columbia Office Managing Partner

  • (T) 803.540.2042
  • (F) 803.727.1480

With more than 20 years of experience, trial lawyer Nikole Setzler Mergo represents some of the world’s largest manufacturers, health care providers and financial institutions, as well as locally-owned North and South Carolina businesses, in both jury and non-jury litigation.

Nikole regularly conducts investigations into alleged workplace harassment, discrimination and other misconduct claims for employers across the country.  Along with her team, she has the ability to provide rapid and thorough investigation support.  In addition, a large part of Nikole’s practice is focused on complex, high stakes litigation, including trade secret litigation for employers. She vigorously defends clients through some of their most tumultuous times.

Nikole also provides daily employment law advice and counseling to a number of corporate clients on issues involving virtually all aspects of employment law. She regularly represents companies before the District Courts of North and South Carolina and in federal courts across the country, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SHAC), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW).


  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1999
    • Semi-Finalist in the Lile Moot Court Competition
    • Senior Editorial Board Member of the Virginia Journal of International Law
  • University of Virginia, B.A., 1996, in English, with distinction
Bar Admissions
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Civic & Professional Memberships
  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • South Carolina Bar
  • Palmetto Center for Women, former Board of Directors
  • Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Recognized by Chambers USA in South Carolina since 2017 in the area of Labor & Employment
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Litigation - Labor and Employment, Since 2013
  • "Legal Elite of the Midlands" - Labor & Employment Law
  • Girl Scouts Women of Distinction 2020
  • Included in South Carolina Super Lawyer List - Rising Star for 2012 in the area of Employment Litigation: Defense and Business Litigation 
  • IADC Trial Academy - 2003 Graduate
  • Former Member, University of Virginia Jefferson Scholars Regional Selection Committee

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation et al v. Prodigy Health Supplier Corporation et al (2021)

Nexsen Pruet member (partner) Nikole Mergo led the trial team as national counsel for 3D Systems. Read a related news release from the company: 3D Systems Prevails in Lawsuit Related to Website Domains

Some notables from outside the office.

    • Girl Scouts Women of Distinction 2020
    • Midlands Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team 2013
    • Board of Directors for the Palmetto Center for Women
    • The Palmetto Center for Women's 2011 Corporate TWIN Award



Nikole frequently lectures and trains employers both nationally and regionally, as well as writes about issues involving litigation defense, employment and labor law and health care.

  • “Crafting Enforceable Non-Disclosure, Non-Solicitation and Non-Compete Agreements,” SC Association of Corporate Counsel Virtual Annual Meeting - September 22, 2020
  • Virtual Commuting, Caregiving and Corona: Remote Work Strategies, Panelist for The Women in Legal and Corporate Leadership Virtual Summit - September 17, 2020 
  • "Pay Disparity - How to Prevent, Discover & Correct 'Scary' Situations" Women, Diversity & Law: Awareness Into Action Conference Atlanta, GA - October 30, 2019
  • A case study published by Columbia Business Monthly in its August 2016 "Legal Elite" edition: "A Profile of Legal Success Demonstrates How Businesses Should Handle Breach of Contract Claims."
  • Employers Faced January 1, 2013, Deadline to Update Fair Credit Reporting Act Notice
    SC Bar's Employment and Labor Law Newsletter: Winter 2013, February 15, 2013
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Blair Mathis v. Brown & Brown of South Carolina, in which Nexsen Pruet's Nikole Mergo filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the South Carolina Hospital Association.

Outside Nexsen Pruet, Nikole is the mom of three beautiful boys and is married to Joe Mergo, III.  She loves God and cherishes her family and always has a seat in the bleachers when her babies are up to bat.  She is also an avid runner.

Nikole Mergo outside NP photo

"I pride myself on being the most prepared and the first to respond. Our clients deserve nothing less."