Charles J. Holley joined Holley & Pearson-Farrer LLP in 1996 and became a partner in 2004. Charles focuses his practice on public finance and general corporate transactions.

In the finance sector, Charles has served as disclosure counsel, bond counsel, and underwriters’ counsel for some of the Midwest’s most active issuers, including the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, the City of Chicago’s Sales Tax Securitization Corporation, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and the Chicago Housing Authority. His experience includes projects as varied as education, healthcare, water and sewer, sanitation, solid waste, single-family housing, multifamily housing, and community development. He also actively works with several New York and Georgia issuers and underwriters. In connection with his finance experience, Charles has advised municipal clients regarding fiscal strategy and long-term planning.

Additionally, Charles provides counsel to business organizations, including corporations, partnerships, not-for-profit entities, and municipal organizations, in connection with various commercial transactions, including financing, organization, divestiture, and miscellaneous related matters.

Charles also has extensive experience in complex civil litigation in both federal and state courts, including real estate litigation, corporate directors’ and officers’ liability, general corporate litigation, and civil rights litigation. Charles’ litigation experience includes matters related to public policy, employment discrimination, contractual disputes, and shareholder liability.

In 2007, Charles represented the City of Chicago’s Aldermanic Black Caucus in the successful resolution of Shakman v. Democratic Party of Cook County, bringing an end to 38 years of litigation regarding city hiring policies. Prior to that, he represented students in Rockford, Illinois regarding the school district’s failure to provide an equal education to students of color, the first successful school desegregation case in the country in more than 20 years. He also successfully represented city aldermen and residents in a gerrymandering lawsuit.

  • University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A.
Bar Admissions
  • Illinois
Professional Affiliations
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
  • Black Men Lawyers’ Association
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • Municipal Forum of New York