Regina Thomas

Regina O'Brien Thomas

Senior Counsel

Regina "Reggie" O’Brien Thomas is a former partner in the Private Client Services Group, where she specializes in trust litigation, trustee services, and estate planning. Reggie celebrated her 50th year at Ballard Spahr in the spring of 2023. Reggie was the first female summer associate to make firm partner, in 1980. She was the first woman elected to the firm’s Board and the first woman to serve as leader of the Estates Group, a predecessor to the Private Client Services Group. She co-drafted the firm’s first maternity policy.

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel from 1987 to present (First woman to be so elected from Middle Atlantic Region). Past member of its PA Nominating Committee

Probate and Trust Section of Philadelphia Bar Association from 1973 to present (former Chair of such and first woman so elected)

Past member of Advisory Committee recommending statutory changes to Pennsylvania General Assembly

Past national and local lecturer on Trust and Estate matters

Current Professional Trustee for multiple private and charitable Trusts

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, Trusts and Estates Litigation (Philadelphia), 1987-2024; The 2013 "Lawyer of the Year" in Philadelphia for Trust and Estates, and for Trusts and Estates Litigation

Bloomberg Personal Finance, among top four Trusts and Estates lawyers in Philadelphia and among 57 top such lawyers in the United States

Philadelphia Magazine:

  • 1999: featured as one of 174 "Best Lawyers" in Philadelphia, and 1 of the 8 such lawyers in the Trust and Estates practice
  • 2004 and 2005: named as one of the top 100 Pennsylvania lawyers, top 100 Philadelphia lawyers, and top 50 woman lawyers
  • 2017: Featured in “Pushing at the Edges, an oral history of women who began practicing in the early 1970’s”

Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens: Reggie’s Garden is documented, listed, and digitally preserved in the Archives (the Garden is also featured in local and national publications and is a subject of an upcoming book)

Board Memberships & Community Service

Chanticleer Foundation (operating Chanticleer Garden), Wayne PA

  • Board member 2005 to present and Officer 2013 to present
  • Member of Finance Committee
  • Trustee

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS)

  • Board member 1997- 2002 and 2015 - 2023
  • Member of Strategic Planning and Oversight Committee, and Public Gardens and Landscapes Committee
  • Past Chair of Leadership Search Committee and of Governance and Nominating Committee
  • Recipient of PHS Distinguished Garden Award (2012, 2014 and 2018)
  • Featured Presenter/Author in or for PHS sponsored publications/ events

The Weeders (an organization devoted to horticultural and civic endeavors); Recipient of Biddle Award for exceptional public service accomplishments

Past fund raising co-chair for “Women for [the restoration of the] Waterworks”, and Past member of Steering Committee for Rodin Museum

Past Board member of Minding your Mind



Boston University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1973)
Invited to join Boston University Law Review

Connecticut College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1970)
Member, Phi Beta Kappa