Brian D. Nichols


  • Overview


    Brian Nichols is a member of the firm's Health Law Group. He represents and advises hospitals, physician groups, nursing homes, community providers, and other health care entities on a range of transactional and regulatory health care law issues. Brian has broad experience in health law and business. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in several industries, including health insurance, aerospace/defense and electric utilities. Brian understands clients’ businesses, and crafts solutions which are legally compliant and allow clients to achieve their business objectives. He is also a contributor to Robinson+Cole’s health care blog, Health Law Diagnosis.


    Brian counsels the health care industry on vendor and payor contracting, joint ventures, affiliations, mergers and acquisitions, space and equipment leasing, physician service agreements, clinically integrated networks, physician-hospital organizations, and ambulatory surgery center buy-ins.

    He has extensive experience handling health-related transactions. He has guided a hospital through the formation of a professional corporation, represented a home care agency as it acquired a similar company’s assets, and negotiated an operating agreement for a hospital embarking on a joint venture.


    Brian provides legal counsel to health care providers on Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse, including both analysis and defense. He provides advice regarding compliance with Stark law, which prohibits physician self-referrals when patients have Medicare and Medicaid. He also counsels providers on anti-kickback statutes, false claims, tax exemption, licensure, government investigations, medical staff issues, physician recruitment, reimbursement, privacy of medical information, compliance program development, self-disclosures and risk management.

    Pro Bono and Community Involvement

    Brian is on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. On a pro bono basis, he helped Specs for Little Heroes, Inc., which donates special eyeglasses to children with retinoblastoma, become a tax exempt organization. Brian, a former officer in the U.S. Navy, has worked to help organizations that support veterans. He served as secretary on the executive board of Give an Hour, which provides mental health services to military personnel. Brian is involved with internal firm programs aimed at helping the community. He has assisted the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford, through internships and by coordinating the firm’s holiday gift program for children involved in the clubs.

  • Experience
    • Experience


        Health Care Business Transactions

      • Guided home care agency client through its acquisition of another home health care agency’s assets.

      • Assisted hospital in forming a professional corporation to employ physicians in a private practice model.

      • Negotiated operating agreement and analyzed tax exemption issues for client, a tax exempt hospital, in a joint venture for an outpatient endoscopy center.

      • Drafted operating, land option, lease and management agreements for joint venture between tax exempt hospital and physicians for new ambulatory surgery center.

      • Routinely represents hospitals and other healthcare providers in connection with service contracts related to  medical equipment, pharmacy, clinical laboratory, infusion services and staffing services.

      • Provides hospitals and providers with representation for service agreements for radiology, anesthesiology, pathology and radiation oncology.

      • Health Care Compliance

      • Represented physician hospital organization in connection with purchase of electronic medical record hardware and software. Drafted and negotiated all contracts related to the purchase.

      • Provided representation to hospitals on physician recruitment and retention matters, including advice regarding Stark exceptions, anti-kickback safe harbors and tax exemption restrictions and drafting of income guarantees, loan forgiveness arrangements and employment agreements.

      • Represent not-for-profit health care providers in corporate reorganizations, governance issues and revisions to related documents.


    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association
      Chair, Business & Transactions, Health Law Section (2018 - 2019)
      Co-Chair, Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law, Health Law Section (2018 - 2019)
      Vice Chair, EMI Scholarship Committee, Health Law Section (2018 - 2019)
      Vice Chair, Programs Executive Leadership. Health Law Section (2018 - 2019)
      Web & Technology Liaison for the Health Law Section's Business & Transactions Interest Group

      Connecticut Bar Association
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the State of Connecticut in the area of Healthcare since 2018.

      Selected as a Rising Star to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list for 2011 and 2014 to 2016.

      Connecticut Law Tribune, recognized in 2014 New Leaders in the Law Yearbook

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford
      Board of Trustees

      Give an Hour
      Executive Board
    • Publications


      Clinical Integration: Population Health and Accountable Care, 3rd ed., contributing author (2/9/2015)
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      "Fraud, Abuse Laws Expanded under Reform Legislation: Health Care Providers Should Take Extra Steps to Ensure Compliance," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Michael J. Kolosky (5/24/2010)

      "A Guide to Connecticut’s Certificate-of-Need Process," published in Connecticut Medicine Magazine, co-authored with Theodore J. Tucci (June/July 2008)

    • Presentations


      "Reducing Pitfalls in Health Care Construction," co-presented with Virginia K. Trunkes (11/10/2020)
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      "Hospital M&A Market at Mid-Year: Surviving, or Not, Healthcare Reform," panelist for webinar presented by Irving Levin Associates (6/21/2018)
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      "Getting Your Health Care Entity Ready for a Purchase or Sale Transaction: Steps for Success," co-presented with Leslie J. Levinson, Natale V. DiNatale, Richard M. Fil and Virginia E. McGarrity, webinar (2/27/2018)
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      "Bundled Payment Programs Post Election—What the C-suite Needs to Know," co-presented with Leslie J. Levinson and Dave Terry of Archway Health, webinar (12/8/2016)
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      "Bundled Payment Programs—What You Can't Afford to Miss," co-presented with Leslie J. Levinson and Dave Terry, CEO and founder of Archway Health Advisors, webinar (11/12/2015)
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      "Hospital Alliances and Networks, Coming to a Region Near You," at the Hospital 100 Leadership & Strategy Conference: Embracing Risk and Making It Work in Miami, Florida (10/21/2015)
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      "Hospitals M&A: Buying, Selling, and Valuing," Irving Levin webinar (1/26/2015)

      "Developing an Accountable Care Organization; Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program," at Connecticut Healthcare Financial Management Association Seminar, co-presented with Meaghan Mary Cooper (11/20/2013)

      "Implications of the Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule," co-presented with Meaghan Mary Cooper and Michael J. Kolosky, webinar (3/5/2013)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • December 24, 2018

        Hartford Office Brings Joy to Children of Boys & Girls Clubs

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      • October 26, 2018

        Brian Nichols Profiled in ABA Health Law Section’s “Feature Friday”

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      • July 2, 2018

        Brian Nichols Participates in Webinar on Hospital M&A Market at Mid-Year

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      • May 8, 2018

        Chambers USA Recognizes Robinson+Cole Lawyers and Practice Groups

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      • February 28, 2018

        Natale DiNatale, Rich Fil, Les Levinson, Virginia McGarrity, and Brian Nichols Present Health Law Webinar

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      • January 23, 2017

        Hartford Office Brings Joy to Children of Boys & Girls Clubs

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      • December 8, 2016

        Health Care Lawyers Speak on Bundled Payment Programs Post Election

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      • December 3, 2015

        Health Law Lawyers Co-present at Health Care Webinar

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      • November 4, 2015

        Health Law Lawyers Participate in Annual Hospital 100 Conference

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      • April 8, 2015

        Brian Nichols Is Contributing Author for Clinical Integration

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      • November 18, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Honored as “New Leaders in the Law” at Celebration Dinner

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      R+C News Releases

      • April 23, 2020

        Chambers USA Recognizes 20 Robinson+Cole Lawyers in 11 Practice Areas in CT, PA, and RI and Nationwide

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      • June 21, 2018

        Brian Nichols Elected to Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Board of Trustees

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      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

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      • October 2, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Named “New Leaders in the Law”

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      • December 11, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Elects Four New Partners and Promotes Six Counsel

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      • December 21, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Appointed to Board of Directors of Nonprofits

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      • January 19, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Welcomes New Health Law Attorneys