Carl A. Sorling (1896-1991), the founder of Sorling Northrup, came to Springfield from Chicago in 1925 to handle legal affairs for the Marine Bank of Springfield, a prosperous and well established central Illinois banking institution. It did not take long for Mr. Sorling, a World War I veteran and graduate of the University of Michigan, to establish himself as a significant presence in the Springfield business and social community. In the early 1930s, while continuing his relationship with the Marine Bank, Mr. Sorling began his private practice of law. As his practice prospered, he eventually joined with two other established Springfield lawyers, B. Lacey Catron (1912-1959) and John Hardin (1909-1978) to form Sorling, Catron & Hardin in 1944.
Following the Second World War, Sorling, Catron & Hardin grew and prospered along with the Springfield community. Philip E. Hanna joined the firm in 1945; Charles H. Northrup in 1946; George W. Cullen (1917-1986) in 1950; and Thomas L. Cochran (1916-1994) in 1956. The growth of the firm also allowed individual lawyers to concentrate their practices in particular areas, a trend that had developed among practitioners across the country. Philip Hanna concentrated in tax and estate work. Charles Northrup concentrated his practice in real estate and zoning law. George Cullen was a trial attorney, and Thomas Cochran concentrated on corporate and transactional matters. Such concentration in a particular field of law allowed these attorneys to provide exceptional service to their clients. As a result, Sorling, Catron & Hardin became synonymous with quality legal service in Springfield.
The 1960s and 1970s witnessed the continued growth and prosperity of Sorling, Catron & Hardin with the addition of highly skilled lawyers and staff. In 1975, the firm’s name was changed to reflect the then partners: Sorling, Northrup, Hanna, Cullen & Cochran.
Over the years the firm has grown in size, geographic diversity and experience to handle the most complex matters for its clients. Now known as Sorling Northrup, the company employs more than 50 attorneys, paralegals, and support staff, making it one of the largest downstate Illinois law firms. In November of 2011, Sorling Northrup outgrew its original location in the Illinois Building and relocated its main offices to the PNC Bank building, a five-story building on the north side of Illinois' old state capitol in downtown Springfield. In recent years, its geographical base has also expanded. In 2005, the firm opened an office in Peoria, Illinois, and, in 2012, added an office in downtown Chicago. This regional and statewide presence reflects Sorling Northrup’s ability to service its rapidly growing statewide and national clientele with respect to those clients’ broad interests in downstate Illinois. Finally, as the firm retains its core legal service business in such areas as tax, estate planning, family law, business and personal injury litigation, and business transactions, it has also grown to match the needs of its clients in such increasingly complex legal areas as health care, government lobbying, and representing individuals and organizations before numerous state regulatory agencies.
Today, Sorling Northrup comprehensively serves the needs of thousands of individuals and organizations across Illinois. The main office’s central location and presence in the state capital make it possible for the firm to serve clients from Cairo to Chicago, Danville to Quincy. Though the firm has changed markedly since the early days of Carl Sorling, Lacey Catron, and John Hardin, its essential goals remain the same – prompt service, unsurpassed quality and careful attention to the legal needs of the firm’s valued clients, both personal and corporate.