Charles Thomas practices in general corporate and business law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate health care law and general business transactions.

His clients range from small, private companies to publicly held companies, and he has a particular emphasis on counsel to banking and financial institutions. Mr. Thomas has advised public companies in acquisitions and takeovers, and has served them as outside general counsel, advising on day-to-day operational matters. He has represented clients in state and federal court and has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professional Background

Mr. Thomas has practiced law in Rockford for more than 50 years. He was a member of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP’s Executive Committee from 1985, when he merged his practice with the firm, to 2006. He is a past chair of Hinshaw's national Business Transactions Practice Group, and served as the Regional Director of the firm's Western Illinois Region until the end of 2004. In 2006 Mr. Thomas received Hinshaw’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the firm’s highest honor.

Mr. Thomas has been an advisor to Rockford area banking and financial institutions for more than 30 years. He served on the City National Bank (later National City Bank) Board of Directors for 24 years and was Chairman of that Board for 10 years. He continues his 50-plus year tenure as a member of the Board of Directors of the Byron Bank. Mr. Thomas served as a member of the Board of Directors of Boone State Bank for 14 years, until that institution was acquired by City National Bank. He has also served on the board of First of America Bank.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in the categories of Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Publicly Held Corporations Law, Banking & Financial Institutions Law and Small, Closely & Privately Held Business Law
  • Included in Leading Lawyers Magazine Business Edition, as one of the Top 100 Leading Downstate Business Lawyers in Illinois, 2010
  • Named as one of the top 100 Leading Lawyers in Illinois in all areas of law, 2007
  • Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
  • Named by Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Super Lawyer” in the area of Business Litigation in 2005, and in the area of Business / Corporate in 2006

Community/Civic Activities

Served on the boards of directors of numerous public, charitable and community service organizations, including the Greater Rockford Airport Authority, the Winnebago County Housing Authority, Children's Development Center, the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Anne's Place, St. Anthony Medical Center, St. Anthony College of Nursing, OSF Foundation and OSF HealthPlans.


J.D., Georgetown University, 1960

B.S., Georgetown University, 1957