Mark Farley is a preeminent national workplace safety and crisis management lawyer. Many of the largest global energy companies and chemical manufacturers identify him as their crisis response counsel. Mark has served in lead attorney roles for some of the most significant US industrial accidents in the last 20 years. A trusted advisor to his clients, his practice is focused on developing a new standard for how companies respond to the multiple governmental investigations that occur in the aftermath of a workplace disaster.
Mark has helped clients respond to investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state regulatory agencies. He has strong relationships with agency personnel and senior agency leaders built over decades of experience and mutual respect.
When confronting government investigations, Mark recognizes that defending a client's legal interests is just one part of the equation. Safeguarding an organization's long-term reputation, rebuilding trust, demonstrating cooperation and promptly regaining site control are equally important. He employs a multifaceted approach to incident response, using lawyers, evidence custodians, technical experts, communications consultants and others. He also works to create efficiencies during on-site evidence collection in an effort to reduce idled operations that can cost clients millions.
Mark was one of the lead partners supporting the work of the BP US Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel, which investigated the corporate safety culture and oversight at BP's North American refineries on behalf of an independent panel of experts chaired by former US Secretary of State James A. Baker III. He often is hired to help organizations evaluate their global safety performance and determine whether safety management systems are functioning as intended.
At the request of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Mark is an instructor at the newly formed Texas Emergency Management Academy. He also serves on the Health and Safety Committee for the Montgomery County Food Bank.
BTI Client Service All Star, 2011, 2019
Best Lawyers in America, 2019-2022
Chambers USA, 2015–2023
Houston Business Journal, 2016 Who's Who in Energy
National Law Journal, Energy & Environmental Trailblazer, 2017
Articles and Speeches
Speaker, Common Process Safety Issues from Major Industrial Accidents, Texas Chemical Council 2022 EHS Seminar, Galveston, Texas (June 7, 2022)
Speaker, Inspection RAGAGEP: The Government's Evolving View, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) 2022 National Occupational & Process Safety Conference, San Antonio, Texas (May 10-12, 2022)
Speaker, 2022 California Process Safety Management Seminar, Torrance and Concord, California (April 25 and 26, 2022)
Speaker, Common Process Safety Issues from Major Industrial Accidents, Texas Chemical Council 2021 EHS Seminar, Galveston, Texas (June 9, 2021)
Co-Author, The Chemical Safety Board Quietly Expands Its Incidents Review, Bloomberg BNA Insights (March 23, 2021)
Speaker, 2020 California Process Safety Management Seminar, Torrance and Martinez, California (February 11 and 12, 2020)
Speaker, 2019 California Process Safety Management Seminar, Torrance and Concord, California (March 25 and 26, 2019)
Speaker, Responding to Major Industrial Accidents: AFPM Tabletop Drill, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) 2018 General Counsels' Forum, Washington, DC (October 2, 2018)
Speaker, 2018 California Process Safety Management Seminar, Torrance and Martinez, California (February 6 and February 8, 2018)
Speaker, Responding to a High-Profile Event: The First 24 Hours and Beyond, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) 2017 General Counsels' Forum, Washington, DC (October 3, 2017)
Speaker, Major Accidents: Managing the First 96 Hours, 2017 Spring Meeting and 13th Global Congress on Process Safety, San Antonio, Texas (March 26–30, 2017)
Speaker, 2017 California Process Safety Management Seminar, Torrance, California (February 21 and February 23, 2017)
Speaker, Increasing EPA Enforcement Under the CAA GDC and RMP, 2016 Environmental Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (October 16–18, 2016)
Co-author, What Does a Corporation Have to Know to Be Guilty of a Crime? The Conviction of PG&E Based on Corporate Collective Knowledge, Daily Environmental Report (August 22, 2016)
Panelist, Institutional Governance and the Environmental Crisis, 28th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference, Austin, Texas (August 4–5, 2016)
Author, The Chemical Safety Board: An Agency at a Crossroads, Bloomberg BNA Insights (June 22, 2016)
Speaker, 2016 California Process Safety Management Seminar, Torrance, California (April 26, 2016)
Panelist, Practical Considerations Before and After a Terrorist Attack, The ABA Spring Conference on Environmental Law, Austin, Texas (March 31, 2016)
Author, Major Accident Response: Managing the First 96 Hours, Texas Lawyer (November 4, 2015)
Panelist, Environmental Accidents: Nuts and Bolts for Counsel in Times of Crisis, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources' 22nd Fall Conference, Miami, Florida (October 8–11, 2014)
Author, Major Accident Response: Managing the First 96 Hours, American Bar Association Section of Litigation (May 19, 2014)
Panelist, The Evolution of Environmental & Safety Regulation in the Oil & Gas Industry, 65th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, (Texas February 19–20, 2014)
JD, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
MPH, University of Pittsburgh
BA, Washington and Lee University
BS, Washington and Lee University