Thompson Hine Names New Managing Partner

Tony White to Succeed Deborah Z. Read

Tony White, Thompson Hine’s incoming managing partner (Photo: Business Wire)

CLEVELAND–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thompson Hine LLP, a law firm recognized for innovation, announced today that it has elected Tony White as its managing partner. White, whose term commences on May 1, will succeed Deborah Z. Read, who served in the role since 2012. Read will continue to focus on the firm’s innovation efforts and her practice as a tax lawyer.

Notably, in an industry first, Thompson Hine is transitioning its leadership from Read, one of the first women to lead a large firm, to White, who will be one of a handful of African Americans currently occupying the top role at an AmLaw 200 firm and one of only about a dozen to have held the position at any point.

White has been an integral part of building the firm and setting its strategic priorities. He has served for over 13 years on the executive committee, the firm’s governing body, and for 11 years, he has been the national hiring partner, supervising Thompson Hine’s lateral partner and senior counsel recruiting and hiring. In addition, White is the immediate past partner in charge of the firm’s Columbus office, where he led strategic expansion and business operations in that market for 10 years.

“Tony is an excellent choice for the firm’s next managing partner,” said Read. “He has served in firmwide leadership roles for over a decade and spent 11 years guiding the firm’s growth through lateral additions. His innate leadership qualities, coupled with his achievements within the firm and as a member of significant community organizations, position him exceptionally well for this role. The development of his leadership skills started early – when he was selected as the captain of The Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team. There is a recognized correlation between sports and business leadership success, and Tony has it. He is a seasoned leader with the vision and experience to guide the firm toward a successful future. I am confident Thompson Hine will benefit greatly from Tony’s charisma, commitment and focus on innovation.”

Outside the firm, White has held several nonprofit leadership positions, including serving on the boards of directors for organizations including United Way of Central Ohio, The Ohio State University Hospital, The Ohio State University President’s Advisory Council, The Ohio State University Varsity “O” Alumni Association and Marburn Academy, a school dedicated to the academic development of children with learning disabilities.

A passionate advocate for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and well-being at Thompson Hine, in the legal profession, and in the community, White has been appointed to leadership positions with several prestigious organizations, including the Big Ten Conference Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition, a group of student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, chancellors, presidents and other members of the Big Ten family charged with analyzing and resolving diversity, equity, and inclusion issues throughout the conference. White also was appointed by the president of The Ohio State University to serve as the school’s sole representative to the Big Ten Advisory Commission, a position he occupied for nearly 13 years, including two years as chairman. The Advisory Commission, established by the Big Ten Conference in 1972, is dedicated to the academic and athletic advancement of African American student-athletes and coaches at member institutions and is the only organization of its kind. White also recently received the National Diversity Council’s Multicultural Leadership Award.

With a unique national trial practice, White represents significant clients in complex business litigation with an emphasis on the transportation and logistics industry. His broad geographic experience includes serving as lead litigation counsel in 39 states in cases ranging from complex class actions and national FLSA collective action claims to simultaneous multidistrict trade secret and noncompetition litigation.

“I am honored to be entrusted with the firm’s leadership at an exciting time in the evolution of legal service delivery. I look forward to advancing the positive momentum Debbie initiated, and I am committed to further leveraging the firm’s robust innovation foundation and continuing to transform how we deliver our services to provide the maximum value to our clients,” said White. “I’m also dedicated to upholding our commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, recognizing the value and richness that diversity brings. Our aim is to actively promote equity within the legal profession and our firm, focusing on enhancing opportunities for underrepresented lawyers.”

White received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and his B.S. from The Ohio State University, where he was a member of the varsity basketball team from 1985–1989, serving as team captain in 1989 and being named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team in 1988 and 1989. A very active OSU alumnus, White served as chairman of The Ohio State University Men’s Varsity “O” Alumni Board and as a regular member of The OSU Alumni Advisory Council representing The Ohio State University Office of Health Services.

Read, a longtime firm leader lauded for her vision around innovation, will continue to play a significant role in advancing the firm’s development of innovative tools and processes to enhance service delivery. Her various firm leadership positions include serving as firmwide managing partner for the past 12 years. When she was first elected, she was one of fewer than 10 women leading the 200 largest U.S. law firms. Read’s most visible achievement is her early pivot to innovation. She led the firm through changes in its service delivery model, making Thompson Hine one of the first firms to do so. Her initial step was the 2014 launch of the firm’s groundbreaking SmartPaTHTM initiative, a comprehensive program that merges legal project management, value-based pricing, flexible staffing and process efficiency to align the firm’s service delivery with clients’ business goals and provide them with maximum value for their legal spend. With proprietary processes and technology added to provide even greater benefits, Thompson Hine delivers the value, efficiency, accountability and transparency clients demand while minimizing budgetary risks and surprises.

Under Read’s leadership, Thompson Hine earned national acclaim for its service and innovation, including being ranked number 1 in the category “Most innovative North American law firms: New working models” by the Financial Times and being one of seven firms shortlisted for The American Lawyer’s inaugural Legal Services Innovation Award. The firm also has been recognized by the National Law Journal as a Legal Technology Trailblazer and featured by Bloomberg for its innovative service delivery model. Read herself was selected by the Financial Times as one of the top 10 Legal Innovators in North America in 2015. FT noted that “Thompson Hine is now ranked as one of the top five firms in the U.S. for client service. This can largely be attributed to Ms. Read’s SmartPaTH initiative, a system that combines project management, value-based pricing, flexible staffing and process efficiency.” She was also named a “Legal Rebel” by the ABA Journal for “bringing innovation to the practice of law.”

Read’s legal practice focuses on corporate structure and restructuring for nonprofit organizations and tax and corporate planning for nonprofit organizations, foundations and health care organizations. She advises leading foundations and nonprofit organizations, including The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., The Cleveland Foundation, and many operating charities, corporate and family foundations, and other nonprofit organizations.

About Thompson Hine LLP. Thompson Hine LLP, a full-service business law firm with approximately 400 lawyers in 8 offices, was ranked number 1 in the category “Most innovative North American law firms: New working models” by the Financial Times and was 1 of 7 firms shortlisted for The American Lawyer’s inaugural Legal Services Innovation Award. The firm has been recognized by the National Law Journal as a Legal Technology Trailblazer and featured by Bloomberg for its innovative service delivery models, which drive accuracy and predictability. The firm’s commitment to innovation is embodied in Thompson Hine SmartPaTHTM – a smarter way to work – predictable, efficient and aligned with client goals. For more information, please visit and


Sheila Turner
Associate Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

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