Workers’ compensation insurance provider Texas Mutual has announced that Mary Barrow Nichols, who has served as the company’s senior vice president and general counsel since 1995, will retire on April 1 after more than 26 years at the company.
During her career at Texas Mutual, Nichols vigorously defended the newly reformed workers’ compensation system, the company said. She and her legal team won substantial victories in cases against abusive healthcare practices, most recently in disputes over air ambulances’ billing rates. Nichols also led the effort to remove the tort of bad faith from the Texas workers’ compensation law.
“From day one, Mary has provided sound advice and counsel on many sensitive issues, and she has built an exceptional team in the office of the general counsel to succeed her,” said Rich Gergasko, president and CEO of Texas Mutual. “We are grateful to Mary for her many contributions to Texas Mutual’s success, and especially for her steadfast commitment to protecting the Texas workers’ compensation system at all costs. She fought to defend the system and did so with the utmost integrity.”
Nichols earned many accolades during her tenure with the company, including the Texas General Counsel Forum’s Magna Stella Award for major litigation in support of the workers’ compensation system. She is rated AV, the highest rating designated by Martindale-Hubbell, and is a National Association of Corporate Directors governance fellow.
Prior to joining Texas Mutual, Nichols practiced law at Vinson & Elkins. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas and is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Austin Bar Association.
“When I first became general counsel, Texas Mutual was still a startup, and the newly reformed workers’ comp law was untested,” Nichols said. “With the unwavering support of our board of directors and CEO, our legal team defended that law against numerous challenges that would have damaged it. Texas now has, beyond all doubt, the best workers’ comp system in the country.”