Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave, Merritt & Rainsford
129 E. Tryon Street
P.O. Drawer 1529
Hillsborough, NC 27278
919. 732.7997 fax
About the firm
The law firm of Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave, Merritt & Rainsford, P.C. has historically represented individuals in Orange and Chatham Counties, in Research Triangle area and across the state in a variety of practice areas.
Since its inception the firm has been a staple of the Hillsborough community and has been an active supporter of town and county functions.
Throughout its history the firm has employed more than 20 attorneys, many of whom are now significant figures in the local legal community.
In addition to the firm's longevity, the firm has been noted for Alonzo “Lonnie” Coleman, Jr.’s service in the North Carolina Senate from 1972 to 1974 and his service as a district court judge from 1996 to 2009, Geof Gledhill’s service as the Orange County attorney from 1976 to 2009 and Leigh Peek’s ongoing representation of the Orange County Child Support Enforcement Office from 1997 to present.
Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave, Merritt & Rainsford, P.C., traces its roots back to 1969 in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill, North Carolina when the firm was named Winston, Coleman & Bernholz and had offices on Churton Street in Hillsborough and on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. The senior member of the firm was A. B. “Lonnie” Coleman, Jr.
On January 1, 1980, Gledhill and Hargrave were made partners and the firm changed its name to Coleman, Bernholz, Bernholz, Dickerson, Gledhill & Hargrave.
In 1988, the firm moved its office in Hillsborough from Churton Street to its current location on East Tryon Street, into what was the old Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation building. In 1990, the firm divided its offices and Lonnie Coleman, Geof Gledhill and Doug Hargrave formed the partnership of Coleman, Gledhill & Hargrave in Hillsborough. The other former members of the firm regrouped as a new law firm in Chapel Hill.
In 1996, Lonnie was appointed by Governor Jim Hunt as a District Court Judge for Judicial District 15B, serving Orange and Chatham counties. His son, Sam Coleman replaced him as an owner and officer in the firm.
Leigh Peek became an owner and officer of the firm in 2004 after 8 years with the firm. The firm’s name was then changed to Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave & Peek, P.C.
After being an attorney with the firm for three (3) years, Katherine “Katie” Merritt became an owner and officer in the fall of 2011. The firm’s name was briefly changed to Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave, Peek & Merritt, P.C.
Leigh Peek left the firm in May 2012, after 15 years of service, to practice law in Hillsborough with her son, Noah Oswald. The firm name was then changed to Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave & Merritt, P.C.
James Rainsford, after working two years as an attorney for the firm, became a partner/officer in early 2014. The firm name then changed to Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave, Merritt & Rainsford.
At present the firm has 6 attorneys, 7 permanent staff members and a number of clerks, interns and part-time employees. Collectively our staff represents more than 240 years of experience in the legal field.