Brian Farley, senior vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. ()
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. has come a long way from helping pharmacies and other medical professionals figure out doctors’ messy handwriting. Since 1986, the $1.37 billion company has been a leading provider of information technology supporting electronic health records, practice management and other health-related operations. The company maintains headquarters in Chicago.
Brian Farley heads a department of 40, including 16 attorneys, located in Chicago, Atlanta, Raleigh and India. As many as 10 contract attorneys work for the department. Roughly half the work involves commercial transactions, with 25 percent regulatory and health care compliance and the rest litigation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate, employment, and intellectual property. On the day he joined the department in 2013, Farley began working on a $1 billion financing effort and has supervised a significant upswing in patent activity.
Sidley Austin is the lead corporate firm and also handles mergers and acquisitions and litigation. Ropes & Gray focuses on IP litigation. Additional outside firms include Barnes & Thornburg, Greenberg Traurig and Vedder Price. “We have decreased our reliance on outside firms by beefing up our internal legal team,” Farley said. He used Axiom Law in his last job at Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and continues to do so at Allscripts, describing the outfit as “a valued partner, finding nice talent to fill medium to longer-term projects where it does not make economic sense to hire a [full-time employee].”
Farley’s day typically starts at around 6 a.m. with “a quick check of the email” before his commute. He gets home at around 7 p.m., spends time with his family and then “an hour or two back online after the kids are in bed.” He’s on the road two or three times each month to visit company offices or customers. “I consider myself a generalist now,” he said. “My experience was more on the commercial and transaction side, but I look at everything and make sure our legal positions are matching up with our business approach.”
ROUTE TO THE TOP
Farley graduated in 1992 from Colorado College and is a 1996 graduate of George Washington University Law School. He holds an executive MBA at the University of Colorado. While in school, Farley worked as a law clerk and legislative assistant at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and at Collier, Shannon, Rill & Scott in Washington. He joined Collier full time as an associate until 1998, when he went in-house for the first time at e.spire Communications Inc. He went on to serve in executive positions at Rhythms NetConnections Inc., Level 3 Communications LLC and Motorola Mobility.
Farley and his wife, Wendy, a former attorney, have four children between 3 and 12. Farley enjoys golf, skiing and “seemingly attending every possible activity in which four kids between the ages of 3 and 12 can participate.”
Given his busy schedule at work and home, Farley reserves most of his reading for travel or the treadmill. “My last international plane trip, I finished ‘The Post-American World’ by Fareed Zakaria.”