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Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave, Merritt & Rainsford

129 E. Tryon Street

P.O. Drawer 1529

Hillsborough, NC 27278


919.732.2196 phone
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, and in the Research Triangle Park and across the state in a variety of practice areas.

Lonnie ColemanSince 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.


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.

Sam and Lonnie Coleman

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.

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.

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, P.C.

At present the firm has 8 attorneys, 9 permanent staff members and a number of clerks, interns and part-time employees. Collectively our staff represents more than 245 years of experience in the legal field.