John M. Farris
Mr. Farris’ practice is concentrated in the areas of governmental relations, tax law, health care law, estate planning, and telecommunications law. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration degree (1980) and his Juris Doctor degree (1983) from the University of Memphis, and his Master of Laws in Taxation (1984) from Frederic G. Levin College of Law at the University of Florida. Mr. Farris was a Delinquent Tax Attorney for Shelby County from 1988 to 1990, member of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission from 1994 to 1995, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Insurance Trust Fund from 1992 to 1995. Mr. Farris currently serves on the Tennessee Board of Regents, University of Memphis Board of Visitors, Southwest Tennessee Community College Foundation Board of Trustees and is Vice Chairman of the Riverfront Development Corporation Board of Directors. He is a member of the Memphis and Tennessee Bar Associations, and the Florida Bar. He is a fellow of the Memphis and Shelby County Bar Foundation. Mr. Farris has published legal articles and conducted seminars dealing with legal and ethical rules in lobbying state and local officials, and is a member of the TN Lobbyist Association. Mr. Farris has been listed in Who’s Who in American Law (1996) and has been recognized by his peers in being listed in the Best Lawyers in America - Government Relations (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012).
Charles B. Welch, Jr.
Mr. Welch is the managing partner of FMB’s Nashville office. He began his career in the Memphis law office of Farris Mathews in 1977 where he spent 18 years practicing commercial litigation, transactional law and representation of local governments. During his career, Mr. Welch has provided legal counsel to the Cities of Humboldt, Arlington, Lakeland, Memphis and Germantown as well as Knox and Shelby County. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee and his Juris Doctor degree from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. Mr. Welch was an Assistant Shelby County Attorney from 1981 to 1997 and Assistant City Attorney for the City of Collierville from 1984 to 1998. Mr. Welch served as legal counsel to the Shelby County School system for 15 years, following in a family history of service to public education – Mr. Welch’s father spent his career in the Memphis City School system as a teacher and administrator before serving on the Memphis City School Board. During his time in Nashville, Mr. Welch has been instrumental in the drafting and passage of major legislation for the State of Tennessee, notably the 1995 Telecommunications Act and the 2009 Market Regulation Act. Through his representation, real estate law, administrative law and regulatory legislation have all undergone massive change benefiting his clientele. Mr. Welch was honored in 2003 by the Nashville Post as one of the Nashville’s top 100 lawyers and from 2004 through 2009 by Business TN as one of the Best Lawyers in the State of Tennessee for administrative law dealing with state and local governments and regulatory agencies. Mr. Welch is a member of the Memphis, Nashville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations. Mr. Welch is also a member of the Tennessee State Museum Foundation Board.
Jennifer J. Lacey
Ms. Lacey’s practice concentrates in the areas of government relations, public policy and strategy development, and lobbying. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Ms. Lacey joined the firm in January 2008 after relocating to Nashville from Washington, D.C. where she worked as a health care policy advisor and legislative assistant to U. S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Prior to working with Senator Frist on health care issues, Ms. Lacey represented U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski and the state of Alaska’s interests on intelligence, trade, and foreign relations issues in the Senator’s Washington, D.C. office. In addition to her policy experience, Ms. Lacey has held various positions on state, local and national political campaigns including political director, grassroots coordinator, advance coordinator and event director. In those positions, she was tasked with policy and strategy development, message formulation, and establishing and maintaining relationships with key operatives and donors around the country. She is a member of the TN Lobbyist Association, the Nashville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations.
Zachary K. Bates
Mr. Bates joined FMB in 2011 after spending four years at the Tennessee General Assembly as a member of the Senate staff. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee and his Master of Public Administration from Tennessee State University’s Institute of Government. Mr. Bates specializes in policy analysis and research. He has also participated in various political campaigns throughout Tennessee. He is a native of Pegram, Tennessee and currently resides in East Nashville.