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William R. Thomas

Columbia | 803.253.8658
Fax | 803.255.8017

Will Thomas represents a variety of health care clients in litigation, regulatory issues, and transactions, which have the tendency to blend together and overlap. He is also the former leader of Parker Poe's Health Care Industry Team. Prior to entering the practice of law in 1999, Will worked as an administrator in an academic medical center and in a physician's office, so he is uniquely familiar with both the operational and legal aspects of health care. Early in his legal career, Will served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Terry Wooten.

Will’s clients include general acute care hospitals (for profit, not-for-profit, and governmental), individual physicians and physician practices, urgent care centers, nursing homes, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, ambulance companies, group homes, radiation therapy centers, and ambulatory surgery centers, just to name a few. Will typically interacts with in-house counsel, risk managers, CEOs, COOs and other health care administrators when providing day-to-day operations counsel, in addition to his regulatory, transactional, and litigation roles. Additionally, Will spent several years of practice defending pharmaceutical companies in multi-district OTC and prescription drug litigation.

Will’s practice includes:


  • Defending negligence, wrongful death, and survival claims
  • Breach of contract actions
  • Hospital management agreements
  • Noncompetition agreements
  • Drug litigation
  • Certificate of Need litigation before Administrative Law Courts
  • Representing hospitals and physicians in employment litigation
  • Reimbursement disputes for both physicians and hospitals
  • Representing physician practices in a variety of litigation and regulatory issues
  • Medical staff disputes for both physicians and hospitals
  • HIPAA litigation involving private causes of action (breach of privacy)
  • Qui tam and false claims litigation for both hospitals and physicians
  • Representing pharmacies in a variety of litigation 
  • Peer review disputes
  • Appearing in Probate Court on guardianship cases involving incompetent patients


  • Asset purchase agreements for hospitals and physicians
  • Establishing physician practices/concierge medicine
  • Drafting and advising physicians on employment and recruiting agreements
  • Drafting and advising hospitals on employment and recruiting agreements
  • Shareholder buy-in and buy-out agreements for a variety of provider entities
  • General health care contracting issues
  • Physician separation agreements
  • HIPAA related agreements
  • Compliance plans and Corporate Integrity Agreements


  • Stark/Anti-kickback/Civil Monetary Penalties
  • CMS Reimbursement
  • RAC Audits
  • Telemedicine
  • Antitrust
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Representing providers in all aspects of Certificate of Need prior to the contested case
  • Representing providers in actions involving the SC LLR professional boards, such as pharmacy, medicine and nursing
  • Representing physicians and hospitals in drug diversion investigations
  • Representing providers in their licensing needs involving the SC Department of Public Health (DPH, formerly DHEC)

Representative Experience

  • Represented clients on Certificate of Need, Stark and anti-kickback analysis, fraud and abuse issues, false claims defense, medical staff issues, medical practice sales and acquisitions, analyzing, reviewing, and preparing a variety of health care contracts, hospital-physician contractual disputes, and day-to-day counsel concerning operational and regulatory issues for hospitals.
  • Represented clients in HIPAA and privacy litigation.
  • Practiced extensively in pharmaceutical drug litigation.
  • Mediated, arbitrated and tried cases in addition to operational and transactional work.
  • Handled a 10-day arbitration for a national health care client, which resulted in a $2.2 million judgment, including attorneys' fees.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract case for a hospital client.
  • Prevailed in a multiday Certificate of Need trial involving a radiation therapy center in which the South Carolina DHEC (now DPH) adverse decision was overturned.
  • Prevailed in a multiday Certificate of Need trial involving a free-standing emergency department that was approved by DHEC (now DPH).
  • Prevailed in a multiday trial involving a radiation therapy center that was approved by DHEC (now DPH).
  • Prevailed in a multiday trial involving a client's approved MRI product. 
  • Shepherded dozens of Certificate of Need applications from the drafting stage to the approval stage.
  • Successfully negotiated with state and federal health care agencies who have fined clients for regulatory compliance violations.

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Honors & Awards

  • South Carolina Lawyers Weekly Healthcare Power List, 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" in Columbia for Health Care Litigation, 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America in Health Care Law, 2019-2024; Health Care Litigation, 2020-2024
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Health Care, 2021-2024
  • Columbia Business Monthly's "Legal Elite" in Health Care Law, 2013-2023
  • Order of the Wig and Robe
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ in Health Care Facility Licensing; Health Care Corporate Law; Health Care Privacy; Health Care Reimbursement; Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); Health Law; Physicians Contracts; Physicians Licensing; Health Care Licensing; Health Care Contracts; Health Care Compliance


  • South Carolina Administrative and Regulatory Law Association, Board of Directors, 2018-present
  • South Carolina Bar House of Delegates, 5th Circuit, 2016-present
  • South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO), Board of Directors, 2019-2020
  • American Health Law Association
  • Richland County Bar Association, Executive Committee, 2008-2012; President, 2011; Treasurer, 2003-2008