W. Thurston Debnam, Jr.

Partner
tdebnam@smithdebnamlaw.com
919.250.2104

Thurston Debnam is one of the founding partners of Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers, L.L.P. Thurston is the Section Head of the Business Law practice group and served as the firm’s managing partner from 1992 through 1997. He concentrates his practice in the areas of business and corporate planning and real estate law, including land use planning and zoning. For more than thirty years, Thurston has maintained a broad-based business practice, assisting clients with business and corporate planning and handling land development and real property issues and transactions. In addition, Thurston is certified as a civil Superior Court mediator.

Thurston’s practice has afforded him the opportunity to appear before many administrative agencies, including the North Carolina Utilities Commission, the North Carolina Industrial Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency. He has also participated in trials and appeals in both state and federal courts. These trials included the Town of Zebulon v. United States Census Bureau in which the Town sought and obtained an adjustment to the preliminary census count for the 1980 census.

Admissions
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Education
  • J.D., cum laude, Wake Forest University School of Law, 1972
  • B.S., Wake Forest University, 1969
Certifications
  • Certified, Civil Superior Court Mediator
Professional Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association; Real Property Section, Business Law Section, Zoning and Land Use Planning Section
  • Wake County Bar Association
Awards & Recognition
  • Listed among Best Lawyers in America2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Listed as 2013 Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite for Business Law
Civic Involvement
  • Town of Zebulon; Municipal Counsel, 1976-1988; Mayor, 1989-1993
  • Zebulon Chamber of Commerce; President, 1976-1987
  • Zebulon Baptist Church; Chairman, Executive Committee; Chairman, Board of Deacons; Chairman, Sanctuary Building Committee
Published Articles
  • Holy Cow! They Can Take My Land?, Legal Insights, October 2005
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