Debra S. Hill


Practice Areas

  • Franchising
  • General Corporate
  • Intellectual Property

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • Ohio
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • US District Court for the Middle District of Florida


  • Case Western Reserve University, J.D., 1991
  • Kent State University, M.A., 1986
  • Kent State University, B.A., 1983

Corporate Experience

  • Arthur Treacher’s, Inc, General Counsel
Debra began her legal career representing a national franchisor in 1991. Almost 25 years later, Debra continues to concentrate her practice on brand expansion through franchising, dealerships and distributorships, and, trademark and brand protections. Her clients operate in a wide range of industries, including food & beverage, manufacturing, recycling, construction, marketing, personal services and transportation industries. Since 2009, Debra has been recognized as a “Legal Eagle” in the Jacksonville community in the practice areas of franchising and business law. She holds the highest achievable rating with Martindale Hubble Law Directory, (AV Preeminent) and the highest AVVO rating (10).

  • Her experience in franchising is comprehensive. She represents clients in FDD & document preparation, state registrations, dealership arrangements, co-branding, franchise compliance, real estate negotiations, acquisitions, vendor agreements, franchise advertising compliance, and franchise litigation monitoring.
  • Debra represents clients in trade protection matters including trademark registration, non-competition agreements, NDAs, trade secret protection, unfair competition law and proprietary product protection.
  • She routinely assists start up franchise companies develop franchise systems.
  • Debra routinely assists developed franchise companies with franchisee compliance, annual registrations and trade protection.
  • Debra acts as General Counsel for small to midsize clients.

Professional Accomplishments

  • Recognized in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women.
  • Recognized as a “Legal Eagle” in northeast Florida by Jacksonville Magazine 904.
  • Selected as a Membership Committee Member by the ABA Forum on Franchising.
  • Selected as an Editorial Board Member for the Florida Bar Journal by the Florida Bar.
  • Former Chair of the Jacksonville Bar Franchise Committee
  • Former Trustee of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce
  • AVVO rating 10
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent rating.


  • “Take Another Look At That Lease” – Expert Source, Jacksonville Business Journal
  • “Wanna Know A Secret” – Expert Source, Jacksonville Business Journal
  • “Proceed With Caution” – Expert Source, Jacksonville Business Journal
  • “Job Losses Spark Ownership Spirit” – Expert Source, Jacksonville Business Journal
  • “Profitability Is Just The Beginning” – Expert Source, Jacksonville Business Journal
  • “Scope of Franchise Law Goes Beyond Fast Food Restaurants” – Author, Jacksonville Business Journal

Presentations and Speaking Engagements

  • “Exploring Entrepreneurial Options: Buying An Existing Business” – Presenter, Small Business Resource Conference
  • “ABCs of Contracts CLE: Ethics and Business Contracts” – Presenter, National Business Institute
  • “ABCs of Contracts CLE: Competition Issues” – Presenter, National Business Institute
  • “Negotiating A Commercial Lease” – Presenter, Entrepreneur’s Law School, University of North Florida, Business Resource Center
  • “Advantages and Pitfalls in Buying an Existing Business” – Presenter, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce LaunchPad
  • “Starting a Business” –       Presenter, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce LaunchPad
  • “Franchising” – Presenter, Jacksonville Business Expo 2010
  • Contracts Law Professor, Director of the Municipal Clinic – Florida Coastal School of Law

Community Service:

  • Duval Audubon Society – Board Member & Director
  • Shakti Life Kitchen – Board Member
  • Friends of Jacksonville Animals – Foster Volunteer

Ms. Hill’s Jacksonville Office: 4600 Touchton Road, Suite 150, Building 100, Jacksonville, FL 32246