Frequent Flyer


Bill Horton

A partner with Jones Walker LLP and head of the firm’s Birmingham office—maintaining a national law practice representing healthcare providers in mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, securities and corporate finance law, regulatory compliance and corporate governance matters—Bill Horton logs a lot of airline miles for business travel and spends his share of nights in unfamiliar hotel beds.

That’s not surprising for a professional who also travels on behalf of the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section, where he served as the section’s 2015-2016 chair. What might be surprising is that rather than becoming jaded about yet another haul through the airport, he continues to seek out adventures, make new friends and always find the upside.

“A lot of what I travel for even on business-related travel is for things that I enjoy doing,” Horton says, pointing to the chance to represent professional organizations through speaking engagements. “One, I enjoy doing that, and two, I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to accumulate a lot of good friends who are sort of scattered all around the country. Generally when I’m going somewhere, I’m going to see at least one friend-—and sometimes lots of friends—that I wouldn’t see if I were sitting at my desk in Birmingham all the time.”

He’s also learned some travel hacks to minimize hassles, including signing up for TSA pre-check to save time getting through security and keeping a separate briefcase always packed for travel, with extra chargers and external batteries for maximum productivity wherever he goes. “Then at the last minute I can stick whatever paperwork I’m taking with me and not have to worry about whether all the other stuff I might need out on the road is in there,” he says.

Horton previously served as a practice group leader at two other Birmingham-based law firms and as general counsel of one of the nation’s largest publicly traded healthcare providers. He has substantial experience both in private practice and as senior legal officer for a large public company and been involved in complex corporate finance and acquisition transactions in almost all sectors of the healthcare services industry. A nationally recognized speaker and author on healthcare, corporate and securities law, Horton currently serves as a representative to the ABA House of Delegates and the American Health Lawyers Association. He is the founding president of the National Board of Health Lawyers, a specialty certification organization. In addition to his practice, Horton also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and as a clinical associate professor at the School of Optometry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, educating students about the legal concerns that affect optometrists in private practice.

His many involvements are largely how Horton has found himself with such a large network of friends and colleagues he looks forward to seeing on his trips, which these days include frequent visits to Chicago and Washington, D.C. It helps that those are places he can explore on every trip without much risk of running out of new experiences—and he takes advantage of all he can squeeze in.

“I enjoy urban settings, so I like the chance to go to another city, see what it’s like, see the architecture, the restaurants, and walk around,” Horton says.

“I always say that I do about the right amount of traveling to get me out of the house and office about as much as I need or want to be and long enough to make me miss being home,” he continues, “but not so much as to be, most of the time, an undue burden on my family or on my clients.” ∞



Written by Joe O’Donnell