Deborah Z. Read

Deborah Z. Read

Thompson Hine LLP

Recognized since 2003

Cleveland, Ohio

Practice Areas

Health Care Law

Nonprofit / Charities Law

Tax Law

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Nonprofit / Charities Law
Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Nonprofit / Charities Law
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Deborah is Thompson Hine's firmwide managing partner. In this capacity, she serves as the firm's chief executive officer. She is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee, the principal governing body responsible for its strategic direction, financial affairs and the oversight of its seven-office operations. Deborah has served as a member of the firm's Executive Committee for the past 11 years. She has also served in various management roles at the firm including hiring partner, chair of the 65-lawyer Tax, Benefits and Planning Department and chair of the Lawyer Personnel Committee.

Deborah also spends some of her time as a practicing lawyer in the tax exempt, nonprofit corporate, and health care areas. She functions as outside general counsel to two large exempt organizations. She focuses her tax exempt practice on tax and corporate planning for nonprofit organizations and foundations and health care organizations. Deborah assists clients in the formation of nonprofit entities, qualification of nonprofit entities for tax exempt status, conversions to and from exempt status, corporate reorganizations and liquidations, including reorganizations of exempt organizations, hospitals, and other health care providers, arrangements between for-profit and tax exempt entities, Internal Revenue Service Ruling requests, unrelated business income, lobbying, and political contribution tax compliance, structuring of for-profit corporate sponsorship arrangements, tax reviews, and tax controversy work including Internal Revenue Service audits, appeals, and tax litigation. She advises organizations on nonprofit corporate law issues and nonprofit Boards on fiduciary duty issues. She counsels nonprofit organizations on best practices for corporate governance, including the application of Sarbanes-Oxley concepts to nonprofit organizations. She advises private corporate foundations about permissible charitable programs they may operate to advance charitable objectives for the employees of their corporate sponsors, including programs involving an international workforce. Deborah counsels hospitals, physician groups and health care providers on contractual relationships, corporate planning, acquisitions and legal structures for affiliations, ventures and other business arrangements, including compliance with Medicare/Medicaid anti-kickback and physician self-referral rules.


  • 3900 Key Center, 127 Public Square
    Cleveland, OH 44114-1291


  • Ohio University, BA, summa cum laude, graduated 1979

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, District of Columbia Bar
  • Massachusetts, Massachusetts Bar
  • Ohio, Ohio Bar
  • Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Bar


  • Cleveland Tax Institute - Panel Chair
  • District of Columbia Bar Association - Member
  • In Counsel with Women - Member
  • Leadership Cleveland, Class of 1999 - Member
  • The 50 Club - Member

Thompson Hine LLP
Washington, District of Columbia

128 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

32 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Nonprofit / Charities Law

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Nonprofit / Charities Law, Cleveland (2023)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Health Care Law
  • Nonprofit / Charities Law
  • Tax Law


  • Named a "Legal Rebel" by the ABA Journal, 2016
  • Ranked one of the top 10 Legal Innovators in North America for 2015, Financial Times
  • Listed in “The Power 100 – Northeast Ohio’s Most Influential CEOs, Politicians & Civic Leaders,” Community Leader magazine
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in "Northeast Ohio's Most Connected," Crain's Cleveland Business, October 2015
  • Named to The National Law Journal’s inaugural list of Outstanding Women Lawyers, 2015
  • Inside Business "Power 100 List," the 100 individuals who most influence Northeast Ohio's economy, 2013 and 2014
  • Kaleidoscope Magazine, "Women Who Give Back," 2012 honoree
  • Diversity Journal, "Women Worth Watching," 2012
  • Crain's, "Woman of Note," 2012
  • Athena Award, 2010
  • YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, 2006
  • Northern Ohio Live, Rainmakers, 2006
  • Kaleidoscope Magazine, "Women Who Give Back – Salute to Women," 2001 honoree
  • Greater Cleveland United Way Volunteer of the Year, 1998
  • Named as a "Leading Lawyer" by Inside Business magazine

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